Nude tourist says: I'm truly sorry
British tourist Eleanor Hawkins has made a shamefaced apology flanked by her mum and dad in her first public statement.
The 24-year-old flew home from Malaysia over the weekend.
Hawkins was among the group of 10 tourists who stripped on Mount Kinabalu. The widely-circulated pictures sparked a public outcry. PHOTO: YOUTUBE SCREENGRAB
She was one of four Western tourists who were deported after admitting to obscenity charges.
They had stripped on Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, which locals considered a sacred site, and taken pictures of themselves baring all.
The pictures were widely circulated online.
The masters' graduate from Southampton University said in a statement outside her house in Draycott, central England, yesterday (June 14):
“I know my behaviour was foolish and I know how much offence we all caused to the local people of Sabah.
"For that, I am truly sorry.”
Her mother Ruth appealed for privacy, adding:
"She knows what she did was wrong and disrespectful and she's deeply sorry for any offence caused to the people of Sabah."
"She has been appropriately and fairly judged by the Malaysian authorities and has served her sentence in full.
"The case is now closed."
Reports said several other backpackers who appeared in the photos remain wanted by police.
The four were arrested earlier last week in the wake of a deadly June 5 quake which killed 18 people on Mount Kinabalu.
PHOTO: TWITTER/ EMIL KAMINSKI
They were each fined RM5,000 (S$1,787) by the Sessions Court last Friday and sentenced to three days’ jail starting from when they were arrested on Tuesday, meaning they had served their term.
The four will automatically be barred from coming back to Malaysia under the country’s immigration laws.
The others who were convicted are Canadian siblings Lindsey, 22, and Danielle Pertersen, 23, and Dutchman Dylann Snel.
A magnitude-5.9 earthquake struck Mount Kinabalu on June 5, killing 18 people and leaving hundreds more stranded.
Sabah state deputy chief minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan later blamed the quake on the travellers showing "disrespect to the sacred mountain".
Sources: Star Online, Mirror, Twitter, YouTube