A group of youngsters who scaled the ‘Ipoh’ sign, which has become a landmark in the hills on the outskirt of the Perak capital, issued an open apology to the nation today.
Group spokesperson Norfarihan Baharudin said that they were not able to apologise beforehand as they did not have the opportunity to do so.
“Actually, since we knew that... (our exploits) went viral, we wanted to apologise but we were not given the opportunity to do so.
“You must understand that when we were criticised by society, I did not have the opportunity to apologise, I mean, I am scared to speak out, too.
“So I want to say here that we apologise. We know what we did was wrong,” she said, in a video uploaded on the China Press website.
It was understood that the eight individuals concerned met with Perak executive council member Shahrul Zaman Yahya today.
The group, comprising five men and three women in their early twenties, came forward to have their statements recorded at the Kampung Tawas police station after receiving brickbats from civil society over their potentially dangerous actions.
The 23-year-old added that she and her friends have a keen interest in outdoor activities such as mountaineering.
However, they did not expect the heavy public criticism over their actions.
“We regularly climb mountains and hills, and all of us are experienced. So when we scaled it (the sign), we considered all safety aspects and did not expect this (public criticism) to happen.
“We never really planned to do it, but naturally as a climber, when we saw the sign, (It immediately occurred in our minds, Okay, let us go there! Actually there is no track leading to the sign).
“We cannot blame any single person for this, The idea came from all of us actually,” she said.
Meanwhile, Shahrul said that he was informed that the youths did not climb the landmark from the ground level, but rather climbed unto the sign after scaling the hill next to it.
“I want to stress, that while many think that they scaled (the sign) from the ground level, they actually hiked up the hill first and then scaled unto the sign,” he said.
The youths were hit with brickbats from netizens after pictures and videos of their exploits climbing the landmark became viral on social media. Many condemned their action as thoughtless and needlessly endangering themselves.
Police have opened an investigation into the matter for reckless endangerment.- Mkini