Dec 9 2011 KOTA KINABALU: No action nor judgement will be made until a full report on the elephant incident that caused the death of an Australian woman is received.
Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said he was still waiting for the full report and it would not be to the best interest of the family of the deceased to talk about or pinpoint as to who was in the wrong.
“The least that we can do is to create an atmosphere to make and to facilitate the family cope with their loss,” he said.
He added that the Australian High Commissioner is in Lahad Datu and the family of the deceased had requested for the body to be repatriated to Australia to be buried and that the procedure should be done as soon as possible.
“The lodge operator (in Lahad Datu) has told me that they will do all they can to assist and repatriate the body to Australia for the burial … we are offering our assistance where we can to make the tragic loss slightly bearable,” he said.
Masidi added that he was unsure if any family member of the deceased was in Sabah presently.
“But the parents have contacted and given instructions to the High Commission of Australia what to do with their daughter’s remains,” he said.
When prodded on the actions that would be adopted to ensure similar incidents would not recur, Masidi explained that the issue involved a wild animal.
He added that Sabah Wildlife Director Dr Laurentius Ambu had warned visitors and guides to stay far from elephants even though there had not been any instances of fatal attacks in the past.
“That does not mean it cannot happen. It is a wild animal. It can attack anytime.”
On the role of the tourist guide, Masidi said he would not make any judgement.
“I don’t think it is proper for us to even assume he has done wrong at this point of time.”