Sabah to fly escaped kidnap victim's wife, mother to Zamboanga City

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal with Tan Home Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during a courtesy call at the former's office in Kota Kinabalu on Saturday where they discussed Sabah security issues including the security state's east coast.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will assist in urgently flying the wife and mother of rescued Malaysian kidnap victim Jari Abdullah to Zamboanga City, where he is fighting for his life after being shot while trying to escape in Sulu on Thursday (April 4).

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said on Saturday (April 6) that they were working with Wisma Putra to provide whatever necessary humanitarian assistance for Jari, who is at a private hospital in the southern Philippine city.

“We have decided to help send his wife and mother for now,” he told reporters after a meeting with Foreign Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Nurshiwan Zainal Abidin in his office here.

Shafie said they decided not to immediately send Jari’s two children to accompany his wife and mother, but would consider it at a later date.

Nurshiwan told reporters that Wisma Putra was ready to provide all necessary assistance needed for the Malaysian kidnap victim.

“Our assistance is mainly focused on the humanitarian aspects,” he added.

On Friday (April 5), Jari’s wife said she was praying for her husband’s recovery and was thankful that he managed to be rescued.

Jari, 34, from Kg Sim Sim in Sandakan, sustained gunshot wounds to his head, chest and groin and is in a critical condition at the hospital where doctors are trying their best to save his life.

His current health condition did not allow him to be flown out to other hospitals for treatment even as Malaysian officials, at one point, considered flying him back to Kota Kinabalu by requesting a mercy flight from the Defence Ministry.

Jari, who had been held by Abu Sayyaf gunmen since Dec 5 last year, was shot during a firefight between his captors and Philippine security forces in Sulu late on Thursday.

Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Lt Col Gerry Besana said on Friday that Jari was found by the Philippine Marine Battalion Landing Team 3 at around 4.25pm on Thursday.

"The kidnap victim tried to escape from his captors during the 15-minute firefight but was shot by the Abu Sayyaf," Besama said, adding that Abu Sayyaf militants were led by a certain Najir Arik during the 15-minute firefight in Simusa Island, Sulu.

Jari was airlifted to Bautista Hospital in the capital town of Jolo for medical treatment before being flown to Zamboanga City.

He and two other Indonesian fishermen - Hari Ardiansya, 19, and Hariadin, 45 - worked for a Sandakan-based fishing company and were kidnapped by gunmen in the Pegasus Reef in Kinabatangan-Lahad Datu waters on Dec 5 last year.

Late Friday, sources said that both Ardiansya, 19 and Hariadin, 45, also bolted from their captors but one of them drowned while escaping. Details remain sketchy.

Earlier Saturday, Shafie had met with Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and discussed security in the east coast of Sabah and as well as other security issues.

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