MIRI: Daddy, I hope to see you soon. There are many things I want tell you about class. Dont worry about me. You take good care of yourself and come back home soon. We miss you and are waiting for you.
That is the message eight-year-old Anlly Wong, a Year Two pupil from a school here, wants delivered to her father, Wong Siu Ung who was kidnapped at sea off Sabah by gunmen on Sunday.
Anlly hasnt seen him since Thursday and was told of the kidnap two days ago.
I hope Daddy is OK. He travels all the time but he always come back, she said when met at her house in a residential estate outside the town here after she had returned from school yesterday.
Anlly, who did not seem to understand the predicament her father is in, was smiling and cheerful when interviewed.
Her 52-year-old father was one of three crewmembers of a cargo vessel who were kidnapped and presumed taken hostage by a group of gunmen off the coast of Sandakan while en-route from Miri to the Solomon Islands to deliver a consignment on Sunday.
Anlly saw her fathers photos in the newspapers yesterday after she returned from school.
Her mother, Lee Pek Yiang, 48, gently explained to her the contents of the newspaper and what had happened.
Anlly is the youngest among the six children.
Some of the family members working overseas returned home after hearing of the kidnapping.
So far, there has been no news yet. The management of my husbands company has been very sympathetic.
They keep telling us not to be too worried. I really hope my husband is safe. At least, I hope to get a phone call from him, said Lee, adding that nobody had demanded any ransom from her family.
In Sandakan, the seven crewmen who hid from the gunmen are counting their lucky stars.
Ling Ee Siong, 43, wants to forget about how he nearly became a hostage of Filipino gunmen and just wants to get back to his wife and children in Sibu.
I want to be home with my family, said Ling yesterday onboard East Ocean 2 anchored alongside the barge Sarinto 1 docked some 10 minutes boat ride away from the Sandakan port central market here.
Ling was manning the floodlights on the roof deck when he saw shadows on the waters at about 7pm.
The gunmen opened fire at him when he tried to shine the lights at the direction of the shadowy figures.
According to another crewman, Imam Santoso who was the last to climb down to lower deck crew cabin, he left the captain holding on to the wheel when the gunmen boarded the tugboat.
I feel very sorry for my three kidnapped colleagues, said 32-year-old Imam, a bachelor from Java, who was among the seven who huddled in the lower deck cabin for about 40 minutes until they felt the boat drifting.
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