The First Malaysian to conquer Everest
M. Magendran (born Magendran M. Munisamy on 6 December 1963 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) is the first Malaysian mountain climber and first Tamil to conquer the summit of Mount Everest. Magendran's party ascended the South Colon the southeast ridge. He stepped onto Everest's summit on 23 May 1997, at 11:55 a.m. local time. He was followed by N. Mohanadas (Mohanadas Nagappan), who reached the summit a few minutes later at 12:10 p.m. The two mountaineers were part of the first "Malaysia-Everest Project 97" jointly organised by the Malaysia Mountaineering Association and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Malaysia. Also with their team of ten people was M. Moorthy (Moorthy Maniam), a Malaysian of Indian descent.
Mount Everest is the world's highest mountain, with a peak at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level. Its summit was first achieved in 1953 after numerous failed attempts that began in 1921. The first person to finally set foot on its summit was New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary, who was accompanied by Tenzing Norgay of Nepal. Both M. Magendran and N. Mohanadas were conferred Datukships by the Penang state government in 2010 for their Himalayan achievement Both men were also conferred the Federal 'Datukships' title by the King of Malaysia in Jun 2011
In June 2013, Datuk Magendran, who is considered a pioneer among Malaysians, gave advice for those mountain climbers who would brave the hazards of the world's highest peak:
ALL safety and preparatory efforts must be taken before setting out on a mountain climb, especially when it involves the world's tallest mountain. One should be very well prepared and must have undergone rigorous physical and mental training before taking on the mammoth peak, [...] One must undergo sufficient training and preparation, which includes endurance training and altitude training. I had been involved in outdoor activities such as mountain climbing and jungle-trekking for ten years and received almost three years of rigorous training before our team left for Mount Everest in 1997.
Magendran urged future climbers and trekkers not to overlook their health before and during the climb, adding that any symptom that was overlooked could be fatal. He also reminded, "Trekkers should keep an eye on the health of their teammates, too.
The year 1997 also commemorated the 40th anniversary of Malaysian independence. In 2000, both M. Magendran and N. Mohanadas were pictured on their nation's postage stamps.