Sabah quake: Internet raises $33,000 in 24 hours for late 'hero guide'

Sabah quake: Internet raises $33,000 in 24 hours for late 'hero guide'
In the wake of his death, Robbi's colleagues from Sabah-based tour operator Amazing Borneo started up a campaign on Saturday via crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise funds for Robbi's family.

PETALING JAYA - In only 24 hours, more than RM93,000 (S$33,000) in donations have poured in from all corners of the globe for Robbi Sapinggi, the "hero mountain guide" who lost his life protecting those under his care during the recent Sabah earthquake.

In the wake of his death, Robbi's colleagues from Sabah-based tour operator Amazing Borneo started up a campaign on Saturday via crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise funds for Robbi's family.

By Sunday night, RM93,067.23 was donated by 500 people. The amount is more than double the original RM37,609 targeted by the campaign.

"Robbi has been a dedicated member of the Mount Kinabalu team for the past two years, and always brought good experiences to our climbers. We received countless reviews about his excellent service throughout his time with us, and we are proud to say that he heroically took care of his guests all the way to the end. His passing is a great loss, not only to his family but also to Sabah Parks and our organisation. He will always be our unsung Hero," read the description on the campaign page.

He was also described as a joyful man, and one of of passion who loved his job and the people he worked with.

"Thinking of you all in Kiau at this sad time. Thank you Sapinggi for the times you looked after me on the mountain and Intrepid passengers. Love and thoughts to your family and community. I know you would be very proud of his caring Dusun spirit. Forever young and forever associated with your beautiful mountain Gunung Kinabalu," commenter Sally Leslie posted on the campaign page.

"I wish I could do more but thank you for your sacrifice. My prayers goes to you and my condolences goes to you family. It is people like you we need more. Thanks for your sacrifice," added Ho Yong.

"Missing you, Robbi. May you Rest in Peace. Your wife & Little One are going to be okay. We will do our best to help," wrote annepinto98.

The campaign will run for a further 14 days.

Amazing Borneo assured donors that all funds received would be recorded and donated in full to Robbi's family.

Sapinggi leaves behind a wife and six-month-old son.

Robbi was part of the more than 200 climbers and guides stuck for about 12 hours at the summit plateau, as the trail down the mountain remained blocked by rocks and boulders.

He received nationwide praise for his selfless acts protecting those under his guidance at Mount Kinabalu during the devastating earthquake on Friday.

After being struck by rocks while fleeing an avalanche, Robbi shouted to the climbers under his charge to keep running.

Although he was injured, Robbi insisted on taking off his jacket and giving it to a female climber who was feeling cold.

He died during the wait for help. His body was found about 20m from where it was believed he was struck by hurtling rocks and was among the first to be brought down the mountain by his fellow guides on Friday.

Hundreds attended his funeral on Sunday from all around the state.

On Friday, a magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit near Ranau district. The strong quake struck at a depth of 10km, with its epicentre located 19km from the town of Ranau, and 54km from Kota Kinabalu. Eighteen people died at Mount Kinabalu due to the quake.

Apart from the state capital, the tremors were felt in the northern Kudat and Kota Marudu districts, and as far away Beaufort in the south.

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