KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia wants to secure the release of two Malaysians being held by Abu Sayyaf militants without compromising its no-ransom policy.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said mediators were still in negotiations and the police have discussed the various issues with the state and federal governments.
“We have also written to our counterparts in the Philippines asking for their help to secure the freedom of the captives,” he said.
He was commenting on the negotiations to secure the release of fish farm owner Chan Sai Chuin, 32, and Konst Zakiah Aleip, 26, of the marine police.
They were kidnapped in Semporna by Filipino gunmen on June 16 and July 12.
The Abu Sayyaf gunmen want RM3mil to release Chan and have threatened to behead him if his wife, Chin Pek Nyen, 42, does not pay up by Nov 30. They are also demanding a RM3mil ransom for Zakiah.
Chin has only managed to raise RM100,000 so far and went to Parliament House on Tuesday to appeal to the Prime Minister to assist in securing Chan’s release.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said at the Parliament lobby yesterday that discussions were still under way with several groups in Sabah and Philippine authorities over the two captives.
The Philippine military, acting on orders of President Benigno Aquino, conducted air and ground strikes since Saturday against the Abu Sayyaf and hope to rescue the captives.
A Filipino social activist working to end the kidnappings, Prof Octavio Dinampo, told The Star on Tuesday that Zakiah and Chan were being held in the Indanan municipality, along with two European hostages, under the control of Abu Sayyaf commander Radulan Sahiron.
Dinampo, who is with Mindanao State University and a former hostage, said Zakiah and Chan were now held together and no longer separately after the military operations started.
But some Philippine sources said that Zakiah was still being held by Abu Sayyaf commander Al Habsi while Chan was with Radulan’s group.
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