By Sandra Sokial
KOTA KINABALU, April 3:
Another kidnapping incident hit one of the resorts in Semporna, this time involving a 29-year-old Chinese national and a Filipina in her 40s.
It was learnt that the Chinese woman, Gao Hua Yun, and her group had just arrived at the resort for an event.
She and the resort staff, only identified as Mimie, were snatched by as many as six unidentified gunmen at 10.50pm yesterday from the Singamata Reef Resort in Semporna.
Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) director-general Datuk Mohammad Mentek confirmed the incident while Sabah police have yet to make an official statement.
He said Malaysian security forces had been put on full alert along the sea borders with southern Philippines.
There were 61 tourists from China at the resort at the time of the incident. One of the group members, who is a reporter with a China newspaper who was sent to cover the event there, reported that many of the holidaymakers were in their rooms at various parts of the resort when the incident occurred.
They only found out about the incident when the management ordered all guests out of their rooms after police arrived minutes after the gunmen had fled with their captives.
It was reported that Liu Quan, the Chinese consul in Kuching, had spoken directly with the Sabah police chief and urged police to carry out a speedy rescue.
The Chinese consulate in Kuching issued a warning on its website today, urging Chinese tourists to take precautions when travelling in the area.
On Nov 15 last year, several gunmen kidnapped a tourist from Taiwan and shot dead her husband at Pom Pom Island, Semporna, located in Sabah’s east coast.
She was later rescued by Philippine security forces a month later.
Malaysian police speculated the terrorist group, Abu Sayyaf, was involved.
However, it was unclear if the gunmen were linked to any groups.