Join “Mount Kinabalu – belongs to NO ONE else” cause in Facebook

A lot of complaints.

A lot of rants.

A lot of rage.

The issue: Sutera Sanctuary Lodges monopolize Mount Kinabalu for their own profits.

They never wants to listen to our grouses on how expensive their climbing packages are, as long as they are the only available solution for Kinabalu climbers.

It started early this year, January 2008, when they packaged their climbing trip. They also pre-sold all the beds to big travel & tourism company increasing the price, to reap all the profits. That moves had also make us difficult to book a bed in Laban Rata.

Try calling them and ask for a bed 6 months in advance. They will say that their booking is not open yet.

Try calling them again next 2 days – 5 months 29 days. And they will said that the beds are full in Laban Rata. Who do you think have the power and money to book all 140 beds in Laban Rata in that very short time?

Try call them at this number: +6088-243629. Considered yourself lucky if you can get through.

Considered yourself double lucky if there is still bed for you in Laban Rata. They won’t tell you whether you get a heated or non-heated one.

Considered yourself triple lucky if you got the Laban Rata Resthouse – where the restaurant and heated rooms are.

Gone are the days when you can D-I-Y your trip up to Low’s Peak, where you could pay merely over RM150 for all the expenses – provided we bring our food ourselves.

The package that they created is compulsory. You cannot omit even a single item in the package – that includes the food. And that move have skyrocketed the prices, even worse during this uncertainty of fuel prices and inflation.


I pity those solo climbers, backpackers and budget travelers. Even more for our own Malaysian citizen & students. The revised pricing structure really did not help us all.

It also hurts Mount Kinabalu’s image. Somebody wrote a bad review on climbing Kinabalu in Lonely Planet Borneo, it’s latest edition. It seems that climbing the mountain is actually the easy part. The hard part is getting the accommodation booking.

Buy the Lonely Planet Borneo if you have money and see it for yourself. I don’t think I would waste another RM79.90 just to get to see the bad reviews on Kinabalu.

It also hurts my last climb up the mountain with Special Olympics athletes. They have to revise their expenses to divert the money to Sutera Sanctuary Lodges. A big chunk of it. A lot of volunteers also complaints, not about the organizer, but about the accommodation provider.

You will be surprised, despite the price increase, that Laban Rata Resthouse is still in a pity mode.

Frequent heated water disruptions.

Leaks – not the roof leak, but plumbing leaks, which leads to flooding of the restaurant by the water from somebody bathing & maybe peeing upstairs.

The food taste really horrible.

The price of their a la carte menu & are ridiculous.

Well, this post really sound seditious. I could get caught and put behind bars because of my writings. But did I tell lies?

No I don’t.

Yesterday I spoke to one of my patient. A senior expatriate who have live here in KK for the past 30 over years. He also aired out his concern on what Sutera did, and how they really hurt the industry. He said he is going to speak directly to Sutera manager and get things straight.

I hope he could at least help us all.

At this moment, what we could do is to get together and voice out our concern. I could not do this by myself through this small blog. Sutera never cares. They know that my writings won’t even dent their cashflow.

Join me in the facebook. (Get one for yourself. It’s free.)

Poke me inside. Add me as your friend.

And the best thing to do is join the cause by KaKiAyAm; Mount Kinabalu – belongs to NO ONE else.

We need a big number to get the ball rolling.

Writing to the government is a waste of time.

They don’t read your letter. They don’t care about your email, and most probably your email will end up in their spam box.

The Sabah state government knew. Maybe they also have vested interest with Sutera? Who knows? They just don’t care.

If they really care, they should regulate the pricing structure.

If they really care, they would not have agree on the price increase.

Try asking for quotation for 2009 climbing package from Sutera. Get ready to get shock.

Stay tune to this blog.

You may want to climb other mountain first – Tambuyukon or Trusmadi, here in Sabah. They don’t have this much issue, but the climb are harder. Good thing is, Sutera is not involve with these 2 beautiful mountains.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri (I know it’s late)… Maaf Zahir & Batin.

31 thoughts on “Join “Mount Kinabalu – belongs to NO ONE else” cause in Facebook

  1. Jusdy J.

    you know what….sa pun tgh hot sama drg ni…FYI, sa bulan 5 or 6 hari booking from my friend la…dia booking direct trus p sutera sanctuary tu…sbb dia pun travel agent juga….but jalan sendiri punya…so dpt la potong2 mana yg tidak mau..sbb kenderaan jalan sendiri p ranau..sbb mmg tinggal d ranau..5 org naik dlm rm1350..(mau tanya,mahal ka tu bos??)..

    so problem dia…bila kami booking tu..mmg ada kosong..siap byr lagi..naik 13/08/08….dlm resit booking tu mmg tulis lagi..siap print…pastu, early ogos..dlm 09/08/08, dia call sa punya travel agent tu, skali org sutera tu ckp la yg kami naik 13/09/08…padahal dalam resit booking suda print lagi 13/08/08……nahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

    dari sana la start suda problem…mau ubah tarikh mmg nda dpt..sbb kawan2 dr smnjung time tu ja ada dtg…lepas tu…ok la..nda dapat nda apa..pastu..satu hal lagi mo minta refund…ini yg paling problemmm…

    dia ckp refund dlm 1 bulan..ikut polisi drg…tidak tau betul ka tidak..ok..terima ja…skali pas satu bulan…siap manager dia lagi by day…week by week ckp this week boleh dpt..this day bole dapat…last2..13/09/08 baru dpt..suda 2 bulan baru dpt…

    sa tidak percaya dgn pakej2 yg MAHAL drg tu drg tidak boleh bayar refund balik dlm masa 1 minggu…satu hari punya sale ja pun boleh cover suda RM1350 tu…sampai sa punya agen tolong bayar guna duit dia dulu….they gave empty promises…tlampau banyak lagi tu..tiap2 minggu lagi ckp…2 months geng..2 months baru dpt refund for just RM1350…cuba la klu org putih……mmg pulang suda p tpt drg….nda sempat tunggu refund….

    SA PANASSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Kay Kastum

    Looks like my life long dream of climbing mount Kinabalu will have another extra challenge thrown in… more money!

    And it’s such a shame.

    I joined the cause already. Let us be heard.

  3. chegu carol

    boy im glad you post this up.
    it has long been bottling up in my mind about the ridiculous pricing by SSL on climbing mt kinabalu.
    ive been asking few friends the past one year to join me to climb the mountain. until now, i could not gather even two people to join me cos the reason being…the price is too expensive and too rigid.
    we are aware that SSL increased the price cos they want to maintain the park and the mountain…but, i think it’s too much.
    so yeah, im gonna join in rolling the ball.

  4. Jusdy J.

    woohoo…buli buat petition online suda ni..hehehe

    bah…who have frnds wrking with media..push them to publish news about this….erm..karam singh bole ka tu a?

  5. KaKiaYam

    drizad, never underestimate the influence of your blog. It’s not how big or small, but how significant it is to those who matters.

    God bless!


  6. Murphy

    I joined already. i heard rumour that they will revise the package again in Jan 2009. Of course to make you pay more.

    Not sure how true it is. Just wait for the official announcement.

  7. dr nor

    Dear Izad,

    I took my second attemt to climb mt kinabalu on the 17th October 2008. This time it took me 4 months to book a place. When I reached there they told me I have to stay at Panar Laban which was the further up, imagine I have to climb again to reach the place, and there was no heater, was really freezing. Cant imagine sleeping in the cold, so I went to the reception at the restaurant and make alot of noise and told them what kind of World Heritage Site that they are managing, where basic utilities are not taken care of, and I demanded a room with heater and guess what I got one room with 6 beds, with heater and I wondered how come when I called they say the rooms are fully booked?

  8. KaKiaYam

    hey drizad, the group has swelled to 250 members! Congratulations to all! Now let’s keep the momentum going. I am going send a reminder to all my friends that has yet to join the group.

    Take care!

  9. Ranau_Girl

    I just called Sutera for my climb with friends next year on May! Guess what, they have not open yet for the date! I was so suprised, but then it was ok, since they will open it next week. So I asked for the price! They cannot give me the rate as it will be re-rate back! OMG, this really weird! Why? Why is the rate keep changing? So I asked what is the current rate.. RM180/- without heater and RM208/- with heater, this include accomodation and foods but no guide! If I want a guide then I have to add RM85/-. So, I asked what if my group consists of 10-15 people? The answer, then you have to add 2 more guides, cause 1 guide is responsible for 4 climbers! Mean we have to pay for RM215/-! This is Malaysia price ok! If foreigner, the price will be double ka? I have no idea!
    Few years back, I climbed with friends( 9+me), each of us paid less than RM100/- (Accomodation and 2 guides)
    Now, I am really sad, we are responsible to promote our culture to outsiders, but with high price, they will think twice! Hello…Mt Kinabalu is a place where we want to appreciate God’s Creation! If you put high price, even the local cannot climb!
    Then maybe in the future, my children only able to see Mt. Kinabalu from our house window, then they will ask me, mum what’s it feel climbing to the top? Can my words give them the experiences to see and feel God’s creation?? I wonder?
    Well I guess, we really should do something about this right???

  10. Mt Kinabalu climber

    Dear Ranau,

    You are right, it is damn frustrating! All because they monopolised the place. What is the Sabah government doing about this? I bet this will not happen if there is competition on companies to manage the resort. I would like to comment also that the fresh air supply up there is being polluted by the smell of sewage and urine especially when you reached the waras hut and the Laban Rata hut? No proper sewage maintenance or is it that all the wastes go out to the open? Disgusting, a world heritage site but no proper maintenance. Another thing is regarding safety, I heard there were many accidents invloving climbers who fell down during the second part of the climb i.e the rocky climb where you depend entirely on holding a rope, no safety precaution at all, ..entirely depend on the climber, if the climber is too tired and do not have strength to hold on to the rope..then its goodbye for them…broken ribs, arms, legs and even deformed face!

  11. Ranau_Girl

    Dear Mt. Kinabalu Climber

    Yup, there should be competition between companies to manage the resort.
    At least the SSL knows that, it is not just about making PROFIT but also provide the best service ever to climbers or should I put it nicely here TETAMU GUNUNG KINABALU who really wanted to experience by themselves the true meaning of WORLD HERITAGE!
    I think Sabah Government should study this matter! After all, Mt Kinabalu is one of the MAJOR ATTRACTION to Sabah.
    Don’t let this happen —> Kerana nila setitik, rosak susu sebelanga!
    (Maybe I can be the next Karam Sigh Walia, -;p)

  12. Pingback: Join “Mount Kinabalu - belongs to NO ONE” cause « Fong Wen Ping’s Weblog

  13. Ranau_Girl

    I’m back again. And I am damn frustrated rite now!
    I called the SSL again, less than 15 minutes ago. Wanted to confirm our climb on May 2009.
    They told me the booking is NA yet, have to wait next month. But last week they told me differently (Please refer my comment, above please).
    Oklah I have no problem with that, but what suck is the price! It’s been up to RM290 from RM180/- without heater and RM330/- from RM208/- with heater! For Malaysian only! More than RM100/-
    Wah! Even the oil price has been reduced, what’s up with this price? Rite now, I am thinking, should I really continue with this trip?

  14. Mt Kinabalu climber

    Dear all,

    I feel like screaming of frustration after reading Ranau_girl’s fedback! Let’s do something!

  15. Jusdy J,

    adoi….punya main mahallll !!!!!!!!!!!! nasib lepas spm ja trus sa naik gunung o…time tu satu bas kecik(mcm bas menggatal) kami naik…sa tidak silap 40++ ja kami bayar…makan sendiri2 la…

    skrg???!!!! jgn harap la mau naik….harap2 naik klu ada buat kerja ja la…shooting ka..ada special pas ka…

    tinggal d ranau pun nda guna…dpt tinguk ja slalu…huhu…klu la mcm ni, sa rela lagi tu gunung runtuh daripada org lain dpt untung besar dari servis yg burukk..

  16. Charmaine

    OMG, the price has increased so much for 2009?! There goes my plan to climb next year!
    I’ve already planned for the climb this weekend, but now cannot make it…. Booked and paid everything already… SSL operates a non-refundable policy!
    Anyone wants to climb Mt KK, up the mountain 9th November?! I got 3 vacancies man!!!!! We paid RM188 each and RM20 for the guide….. I give whoeever takers 50% discount, boleh?

    Anyway, Gunung Tahan is a nicer climb, more challenging and no ripped off as such…. Worth considering!

  17. frost

    I’ve climbed both Tahan n Kinabalu. I would say Tahan is anything but Nicer. πŸ™‚ Kinabalu is higher but Tahan is not easy at all.

  18. zii

    Ranau Girl, i also plan to climb May next year but SSL said “next year booking still not open yet, ayo yooooo apa sudah jadi. Frust oooo. So macamana? Everything dah plan only SSL killed my dream. Ranau Girl kita senasib. My cost lagi mahal looo coz I’m form Kuala Lumpur. 3 days 2 night (travel agent price) RM935, not include flight ticket. RM935?? pergi Phuket pun murah lagi beb. Pleaseeee help me……

  19. Kinabalu Dream

    I mentioned this ages ago. No, point in going to Kinabalu to climb the mountain anymore. I suggest everyone boycott the climb and let SSL feel the credit crunch and hopefully they realised, may be we should also stop promoting Sutera Habour Resort. Kinabalu belongs to everyone and not one cut throat company !!!

  20. TC

    What happen to Sabah Park, before they lease to KNR (Kinabalu Nature Resort) then to KGR (kinabalu Gold Resort), and now to SSL (Sutera Sanctuary Resort), I believe the behind Director are the same person, they are making a tonne of money from our Sabahan Mountain – the mount kinabalu, what sabahan get??
    And now i heard that, the mountain climb permit and insurance also collect by SSL in april, sooner and later, the SSL Director will increase the permit fee and insurance with the excuse, we are upgrading the system and the quality of the permit.
    I hope Ministry of Tourism and the authority body can look into it.

  21. Marty

    Hi everyone,
    I am glad I stumbled on this forum page. Planning to climb Mt Kinabalu early June. Planning to do all arrangement on my own to save cost. After reading the postings, I have two minds about doing it staying at Mersilau Resort and the rest. I have not made any bookings at Laban Rata. Can someone advise when is the best time to do the bookings. How sure can we be that we will get accomodation at Laban Rata and not the other rest houses. Which is easier, booking through internet or call them directly by phone? From what I read, there seems to be a lot of trouble doing this (calling her at
    Yes I think it is not fair for the whole thing to be monopolized by one group of servidce provider. So does anyone know the latest rate? or can I rely on the figures stated in the internet.

  22. orang utan

    soo… kita bising2 pun. SSL senyum2 pungut hasil.. they never listen and never care what we complain.. mahal kah harga dia.. buruk kah service dia.. susah kah mau dapat tempat dia.. dia peduli apa.. siok2 lagi sana senyum2.. kasi ketawa kita.. dia bilang ah.. bising2 kamu full juga bah tampat kami hari2.. jan bilang mahal. ko mo bayar double pun sia teda sudah katil mo kasi ko.. satu lagi kita la penguna malang.. bila dia bilang Laban Rata 330 satu katil.. include 4 meals.. so ko pun terkijut.. kita tanya la.. 330 tu.. bed berapa? packed lunch berapa harga dia? dinner berapa? breakfast berapa? lunch klu tia mau bulih kasi keluar kah?? dia jawab.. tia bulih kasih tau.. rahsia kami.. lunch klu ko tia makan pun misti juga mau bayar.. Gila kan?? Penguna Malang.. dipaksa bayar benda yg kita sendiri tidak tau apa?? paksa bayar walaupun kita tidak mau makan meals dia.. tidak pa klu sedap.. duiiii.. kasi anjing pun anjing muntah 2 kali.. last2 cuba lah kamu fikir..? siapa la yg boleh ambil tindakan sewajar nya?? Jawapan dia TIADA… tu la slogan kita MALAYSIA BOLEH!! atau MALAYSIA TIDAK BOLEH! SSL saja bah boleh! Boleh buat apa saja suka hati diarang..

  23. jb

    i had try to book through Sutera Sanctuary website directly for March 2010. The package price is ~RM1k, and additional night is ~RM435.. it is about 10x more expensive than I went there in year 2003… the package price is keep increasing every year and i think some day it will same as the price to a Space tour..

  24. Monica

    Singapore, Malaysia expand air services agreement
    By Jia Mei, 938LIVE | Posted: 19 October 2009 1857 hrs

    Photos 1 of 1

    Travellers walk past departure schedule board at the Changi Airport in Singapore.

    SINGAPORE: Singapore and Malaysian carriers will soon be able to fly freely between Changi and six new destinations in Malaysia after both countries agreed to expand their air services agreement.

    The new agreement gives carriers of both countries the rights to operate passenger services between Singapore and Malaysia’s Alor Setar, Bintulu, Labuan, Kerteh, Kota Bahru and Sibu.

    Carriers from both sides will each have traffic rights to operate 28 weekly passenger services to each of these destinations.

    The new agreement will also see an increase in the number of services to 10 existing destinations in Malaysia. – 938LIVE/vm

  25. orang sabah

    now Mt. Kinabalu belong to Singaporean! check Mt Torq why?? why singaporean?? not not give it back to Malaysian??

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