Somaliland Flag On The Highest Mountain In South East Asia
Malaysia, 13 April 2010 – The Educational Trip to Sabah (ETS) which was scheduled from 13 – 20 March 2010 successfully concluded its mission. It was organised by the Student Support Services Department (SSSD), Student Representative Council (SRC) and International Student Council (ISC) with the support from PETRONAS Group Corporate Affairs (GCA), PETRONAS Education Sponsorship Unit (ESU) and Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP).
The objectives of the programme are to familiarize students with the incredible diversity of the eco system, understand its importance and enhance the love for it; and encourage a caring society by reminding students of their responsibility towards the surrounding community through community service activities.
ETS was participated by 36 students comprising 26 international students from 26 different countries including Cambodia, Chad, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Somaliland, South Africa, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Timor Leste, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen; and 10 local students. The only Somali in the group was Ahmed Mahdi of the Towers university, a Somalilander (see pictures).
The programme started on 14 March 2010 when all participants visited Sunday Market at Gaya Street (also known as Pasar Tamu) and Sabah Museum. In the evening, the ETS group went to Kudat Traditional Rungus Longhouse and visited the “Tip of Borneo” where the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea meet.
On the second day, the ETS group went to Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Matunggong in Kudat. The ETS group was warmly welcomed by the teachers, staff and students of the school. The activities organised were sharing sessions and various educational games with the school students. In the evening, the ETS group departed to Aristo Kinabalu Resort in Kundasang.
On the third day, the ETS group departed to Kinabalu National Park. Before they started climbing at 10.30 a.m., a few participants were interviewed by the print media and television stations such as the Daily Express, the Borneo Post, Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) and Sistem Televisyen Malaysia Berhad (TV3) about the programme. Later, a cameraman from TV3 followed the group to climb Mount Kinabalu. At about 3.30 p.m., the group reached Laban Rata and spent a night there.
The final step of climbing the mountain was on 17 March 2010 at about 2.00 a.m. when they started climbing the summit. The highlight of the programme was when all the ETS participants successfully conquered the peak of Mount Kinabalu at about 5.30 a.m.. History was made when one group consisting of 27 nations reached the peak of Mount Kinabalu at one time. All participants proved their determination and courage to conquer Mountain Kinabalu which stood at 4095 meters (13,435 ft) above sea level.
On the fifth day, the ETS group visited PETRONAS Sabah/Labuan Regional Office (KKRO). They were given a briefing on PETRONAS operations in Sabah. It was a very enlightening session. At 2.30 p.m., the ETS group was invited to meet Assistant Youth and Sports Minister of Sabah, Datuk Jahid Jahim at his office.
On the sixth day, the ETS group visited Universiti Malaysia Sabah and they were warmly welcomed by its Student Representative Council Exco members. In the evening, the ETS group went to an orphanage home known as “Darul Bakti” at Kota Belud. The group organised various activities including motivational sessions with the 50 orphans.
On the last day, they went for a tour of Tuanku Abdul Rahman Park and Sapi Island before returning to Kuala Lumpur with sweet memories and wonderful experience.