The picture of him carrying an injured boy upon his shoulders to bring him to safety has made him an internet sensation as a symbol of the efforts of the mountain guides in the aftermath of the Kinabalu earthquake.
That hero’s name is Rizuan Kauhinin…
…and he wants to meet the boy he rescued.
“I just want to know how he is doing,” said the 25-year-old, who had been busy with the search-and-rescue operations till yesterday morning.
“I’m not a famous person. What I did was out of sincerity, not to get fame. I really wanted to help. All that mattered was to bring the boy to safety,” he said.
Mr Rizuan said he and another guide had found the boy writhing in pain near the Villosa Shelter around KM4.4 of the trail.
“The boy couldn’t move as he had injured his back. We gave him something to eat. I also shared some water with him.
“We then lifted him, and I carried him on my back,” he recounted.
“Since he is Singaporean, he knows how to speak Bahasa Malaysia. He told me not to move fast because the impact was hurting him. Normally, it would take me only two hours to travel between the two points. But I took my time bringing him down.
“The boy kept saying he was in pain, and he couldn’t stand it. We had to stop many times, but I tried my best to quickly bring him to the Layang-Layang Hut.
“At the Layang-Layang Hut, we transferred the boy onto a stretcher.”
And he is not the only hero. All the guides that were on the mountain on that fateful day had contributed to the efforts of bringing the victims to safety.
And now their livelihood is made uncertain with the earthquake. The mountain will be closed for at least 3 weeks and with the memory of the earthquake still fresh in everyone’s mind, the number of trekkers will dwindle thus impacting the income of those guides.
If ever there is a time to organise a donation drive to help these heroes, this is the time.