The image posted on Facebook shows a group of Western tourists stripping at the sacred  Mount Kinabalu has sparked outrage in Malaysia.
The image posted on Facebook shows a group of Western tourists stripping at the sacred Mount Kinabalu has sparked outrage in Malaysia.Facebook/Emil Kaminski

A group of Western tourists, who stripped and urinated on top of Malaysia's Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, have been detained after being blamed for "causing" the deadly earthquake in the region that killed 16 people.

According to the local Sabahan tradition, Mount Kinabalu in Borneo is considered sacred and is worshipped as "the revered place of the dead".

A 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit the region on 5 June and CNN reported that 16 tourists were killed on Mount Kinabalu. BBC further revealed that a group of six Singaporean schoolchildren were among those killed at Kinabalu Park, which is a World Heritage Site.

Local reports are now blaming a group of Europeans for "the sacrilegious act" that caused the earthquake. 

Digital Journal, citing Deputy Chief Minister of the Sabah region Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, said: "Whether other people believe this or not, it's what we Sabahans believe. When the earthquake happened, it's like a confirmation of our beliefs. There is almost certainly a connection. We have to take this as a reminder that local beliefs and customs are not to be disrespected."

Malaysia has identified five of the ten tourists from Canada, Germany and the Netherlands.

A Canadian national, who was one of the tourists blamed for disrespecting Sabah's Mount Kinabalu, hit out against the Malaysian authorities. "Well, apparently I am responsible for the 2015 Nepal quake, and whatever incoming quakes in Canada (as well as Thailand, India, China, Taiwan, Hongkong, and a variety of other countries...)," Emil Kaminski, founder of travel blog Monkeetime, on his Facebook page.

Along with his statement, he also posted a  picture of the group posing naked on the Mount Kinabalu. He also noted that he had  "time of my life" at the peak. 

When advised to show respect to the local culture by a commenter on Facebook, Kaminski replied: "f**k your culture".

Kaminski, on the Twitter page of his travel website Monkeetime @monkeetimevideo, also called Sabah's Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Masidi Manjun an "idiot" and "not a minister of tourism".

A local tourist guide apparently even tried to intervene after the Western tourists stripped and urinated on the sacred grounds, The Strait Times reported. But, he was then mocked and shooed away by the tourists.