KOTA KINABALU: The payment for Mount Kinabalu porters needs to be adjusted according to the rates set by the Sabah Parks (TTS), said state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin.
He said TTS has set payments for porter services to transport Mount Kinabalu hikers’ belongings at RM13 per kilogramme (kg) with a minimum weight of 10 kg, while the fee for porters carrying accommodation necessities was set at RM5.50 per kg.
Jafry said a porter would earn RM5 per kg and the services were handled by Mountain Torq and Sutera Sanctuary Lodge.
“I suggest the lodge could consider aligning the pay structure with TTS.
“However, the payment rate for porters and ‘malim gunung’ (mountain guides) will be discussed from time to time so that they can improve their work balance and have a better standard of living,” he said in a statement today.
According to Jafry, the average weight of goods carried by a porter is 35 kg per day per climb, and if a porter climbs about 15 times a month, then the average income is RM2,625.
However, he added that the TTS report showed that on average a Mount Kinabalu porter climbs 12 times a month and earns about RM3,540.
Meanwhile, Jafry said the payment for the mountain guides are currently at RM230 for two days and one night trip, and the average of one guide accompanying a hiker is about 13 times in a month, with an estimated monthly income of RM2,990.
At the same time, he said his ministry approved one-off financial assistance of RM10,000 to the Mountain Guides Association and the Mount Kinabalu Porter Association. – BERNAMA