Part time porters of Kinabalu

Received an email from one of Kinabalu climbers, Mr. Mohd Redza. He sent me a photo of 2 young porters of Kinabalu with a very short story. Enjoy.

Hi Drizad

I have the opportunity to climb Mount Kinabalu on the 27/3/2010 with my friends.

It was an interesting and wonderful walk. But during my hiking up from Mesilau, I met with these two girls and one of them is a 12 year old and a 16 years old who happen to be the younger girl aunt.To my surprise they were there as a part time porter during weekends and schools holidays.It really hurt my heart to find out at so young age they have to carry heavy loads.( The 12 years old girl is carrying 6kg and the 16 yrs 15kg ).

And the saddest part is that the 12 year old is wearing her school shoes and part of her track pants torn.

I also met with the 12 year old girl grandfather who is 70 yrs old and carrying a load of 20kg.

It really hurts me especially when I met them again at Laban Rata after I came down from the summit,it was cold and a bit windy and the 12 yr old girl is in cold and I do not have extra clothing which is suitable for to wear.I went back inside the rest house to take my PDA so that I can take down their names but by the time I came out all three of them have gone.

Attached is a photograph of me and the 2 girls.Appreciate if u met them please take their names and address.


Young porters of Kinabalu

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About drizad

A self employed General Practitioner who lives with his lovely family in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. He dedicates his spare time serving people with precious information on climbing the Majestic Mountain of the Borneo, Mt Kinabalu. Reachable at drizad(at)

2 thoughts on “Part time porters of Kinabalu

  1. MLH

    I just climbed Mt. K in early April. During the hike up and down, I saw porters carrying heavily loads which really amazed me. Respect to the porters, they are the real heroes of Mt. K. The food you eat at Laban Rata is carried up by them. The porters definitely deserve more than what they are getting.

    Although I have no way of helping them, I wish nothing but good karma to the 2 girls and their grandfather.

  2. Nadine

    I have also just made the climb a week ago- beautiful as the views were, my amazement and admiration was mostly reserved for the porters. Sure, they would be more used to the mountain as compared to us but surely it must still be terribly strenuous.

    May I ask, how well are these porters compensated-going by the ballpark figure of RM8 per kg, I don’t think very well?

    I also understand that since 2008, prices have increased steeply. How has this benefitted the porters/ the natives in that area or otherwise?

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