It was an episode Mithun Jay Langgim would never forget.
The Sabah Parks ranger admitted the tragic earthquake that hit Mount Kinabalu on June 5, 2015, changed his perspective about life.
“I used to be reserved, only wanting to talk when someone initiated a conversation. Today, I initiate the conversation,” said Mithun Jay, 31.
“The quake changed the way I see life. I appreciate people more … and relationships. You will never know when you may need someone’s help or how you can help someone.”
Mithun Jay was just 500m from Low’s Peak at Mount Kinabalu when a 5.9 magnitude quake hit the iconic mountain at around 7.15am. He saw huge dust clouds as boulders and rocks started rolling down.
“When it happened I quickly informed (Sabah Parks director) Dr Jamili Nais, (Kinabalu Park warden) Justinus Guntabib and (senior ranger) Daikin Aman.
“With the help of the other guides and porters, we managed to lead everyone to safety.”
There were 195 climbers, 59 guides and 45 workers that operated the lodges and six rangers on the mountain.
They were able to make their way down after Mithun Jay tied ropes along a makeshift route.
Mithun Jay’s heroics were documented as part of Astro Gempak’s ‘The Amazing Malaysia Heroes’ series. The short film was a collaboration with Astro Gempak, Directors Think Tank and Professional Storytellers.
But Mithun Jay said he is no hero.
“I just did what I had to do.”
“After seeing the film, I had flashbacks of the quake. I lost good friends on the mountain.
“It still hurts. But I’m glad many others survived. It was a collective effort … the guides, rangers and climbers.”
He insisted the movie was not about him but was produced to highlight the emotions following the incident.
“I’m also glad the local language (Dusun) was used in the film,” he added.
Directors Think Tank’s Kelvin Theseira, who has 20 years’ experience in advertising and production, shared his views about the film.
“I WANTED TO WORK ON THIS FILM DUE TO THE MOUNTAIN’S MYSTIQUE. I WANTED PEOPLE TO SEE THE MOUNTAIN IS SACRED. PEOPLE OFTEN FORGET THIS PART OF THE STORY.
“BUT THE MOUNTAIN HAS BEEN THERE FOREVER. THERE IS A STORY TO TELL AND THE LOCALS CAN RELATE.
“THE FILM WAS NOT A RE-ENACTMENT BUT ABOUT HOW THE INCIDENT HAS AFFECTED THE RANGER. THIS WAS THE DIFFICULT PART AS IT WAS A FICTITIOUS STORY BASED ON AN ACTUAL EVENT.
“THE HARDEST PART IN MAKING THIS FILM WAS THE LANGUAGE (DUSUN) AND IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO RECREATE AN EARTHQUAKE.”