Two Singaporean hikers missing in Malaysia; search operations ongoing

Singaporean hikers missing

Two Singaporean hikers, including a woman, went missing from the Gunung Pulai area in Johor, Malayisa since Monday. Reports said that dozens of Malaysian rescuers and volunteers are searching for the hikers, both aged 27 years, with the help of 40 volunteers from a local hiking team.

On Wednesday, Kulai District Police chief Superintendent Dzulkhairi Mukhtar told TODAY that about 60 personnel from the police and the state Fire and Rescue Department are also involved in the ongoing search-and-rescue operation on the mountain.

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Superintendent Dzulkahiri said that the two Singaporean hikers had entered a forested area at about 12.40 pm on Monday.

Reports said that the search operations were ordered after the missing woman's mother informed the authorities that the two hikers were missing. Several social media posts of the woman in Singapore, who has been identified as Lum Jie, also indicated that she had gone missing.

On Monday, the missing man, who has not been identified, made two calls to the police. The local authorities received the first distress call at 5.40 pm and sent in rescuers as well as a canine unit with the police to help track down the pair. Rescuers searched along at least 10 different trek routes but did not find them.

However, the police have managed to trace the general location of the man following his second phone call at 10 pm. The authorities started searching a 36 kilometres square area from where the phone signal had last been detected.

According to a spokesperson from Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Singapore Consulate-General in Johor Baru is in contact with the local authorities. The spokesperson added that the Singapore officials are also there to assist the families of the two hikers.

In 2016, a Singaporean climber fell in a 150m deep ravine near Sayat-Sayat, during his training at Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia. The man was reported as missing while he was training for the Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon. The Star had reported that the victim was believed to have died due to the serious head injuries when he slipped off the trail and fell into the deep ravine.

This article was first published on February 7, 2018