Set up fast response team, says minister after death at Mulu caves

Mulu National Park is a popular tourist destination in Sarawak and a Unesco World Heritage Site. (Bernama pic)

KUCHING: The federal government has been urged to set up a fast response team to deal with emergencies in the caves and highland areas following the death of a tourist at Mulu National Park.

In addition, Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said information, proper signages and facilities must be made available in these areas to ensure the safety of visitors.

This morning, the body of a Dutch tourist was found at Gua Rusa (Deer Cave) at Mulu National Park after he and a local guide went missing following a flash flood yesterday evening.

Peter Hans, 66, was found drowned in a river inside the cave at 6.40am. Tour guide Roviezal Robin, 20, is still missing.

Karim said although visitors were briefed before exploring the caves, the federal government should still consider setting up a fast response team to deal with emergencies.

“On our part, we will ensure that adequate information, proper signages and facilities are made available in these areas to ensure the wellbeing of visitors.

“It saddens us whenever a mishap like this happens,” Karim told FMT, adding that it would also affect the country’s tourism image.

He extended his condolences to Hans’ family.

Mulu National Park is a popular tourist destination in Sarawak and was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2000. The entrance to one of the caves is said to resemble president Abraham Lincoln.