Hostages may still be alive, says Najib


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 02 Nov 2003

SUBANG: Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said there is a possibility that the five men abducted from the Borneo Paradise Resort in Kunak, Sabah, on Oct 5 are still alive. 

He said this was based on conflicting reports received from the Filipino authorities even though the five hostages were said to have been executed by their kidnappers. 

“There are reports which claimed that they (hostages) are still alive, as long as there are no bodies, we cannot make any conclusion,” he said at the Royal Malaysian Air Force base here yesterday. 

Efforts were being made to get details on what really happened, Najib said after bidding farewell  

to former Prime Minister Tun  

Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Moha- 

med Ali who left for a vacation abroad. 

“We have a DA (defence attache) in Manila, so he will inform us of any development,” he said. 

It was reported on yesterday that a sixth hostage who “survived” the incident, admitted to a team of investigators that he was no longer sure whether the kidnappers had really executed them. 

Spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines South Command, Lt-Col Renoir Pascua, was reported to have told a Philippine news channel that the survivor, Novelito Arcosel, 19, might have been confused when he was first questioned, leading to his conflicting statements. 

His account of the “execution” was highly doubtful following inconsistencies in his statements, Lt-Col Pascua said. – Bernama 

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