Rescued, Taiwanese tourist kidnapped from Sabah

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar took to Twitter minutes ago to announce the rescue and congratulate the Philippine security officials. — Picture by K.E. Ooi
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar took to Twitter minutes ago to announce the rescue and congratulate the Philippine security officials. — Picture by K.E. Ooi

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 20 — A Taiwanese tourist taken by unidentified gunmen from Pom-Pom Island, off Sabah’s east coast, has been rescued by Philippines security forces, Malaysia’s national police chief said today.

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar took to Twitter minutes ago to announce the rescue and congratulate the Philippine security officials.

“Syabas Pasukan bersenjata Filipina, mangsa colek rakyat Taiwan di Pom Pom berjaya diselamatkan!” he tweeted in Bahasa Malaysia on his personal microblogging account, @KBAB51.

[Translation: Congratulations to the Filipino security forces, the Taiwanese kidnap victim from Pom Pom has been successfully rescued!]

He added that the victim was now at the Hospital Merin in Sulu and would be flown to Zamboanga City in southern Philippines tomorrow.

A screenshot of Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar's tweets on the rescue of the abducted Taiwanese tourist on Pom Pom Island.
A screenshot of Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar's tweets on the rescue of the abducted Taiwanese tourist on Pom Pom Island.

Khalid did not disclose the victim’s identity.

It is believed he was referring to Chang An Wei, 58, a Taiwanese woman who was abducted shortly after midnight on November 15 from a tourist resort on Pom-Pom Island.

Her husband, Hsu Lim Min, 57, was killed by the armed abductors in the incident.

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 20 — A Taiwanese tourist taken by unidentified gunmen from Pom-Pom Island, off Sabah’s east coast, has been rescued by Philippines security forces, Malaysia’s national police chief said today.

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar took to Twitter minutes ago to announce the rescue and congratulate the Philippine security officials.

“Syabas Pasukan bersenjata Filipina, mangsa colek rakyat Taiwan di Pom Pom berjaya diselamatkan!” he tweeted in Bahasa Malaysia on his personal microblogging account, @KBAB51.

[Translation: Congratulations to the Filipino security forces, the Taiwanese kidnap victim from Pom Pom has been successfully rescued!]

He added that the victim was now at the Hospital Merin in Sulu and would be flown to Zamboanga City in southern Philippines tomorrow.

Khalid did not disclose the victim’s identity.

It is believed he was referring to Chang An Wei, 58, a Taiwanese woman who was abducted shortly after midnight on November 15 from a tourist resort on Pom-Pom Island.

Her husband, Hsu Lim Min, 57, was killed by the armed abductors in the incident.

The resort, which is accessible by a 45-minute boat ride from Semporna in Sabah and just a 30-minute ride from the Philippines’ Tawi-Tawi islands, is located under a kilometre away from one of Malaysia’s General Operations Force (GOF) base.

A ransom call for Chang was later made to Taiwan, the republic’s minister of the interior disclosed on November 20.

However, the Taiwanese minister declined to reveal details about the phone call or the ransom, only saying it was discussed on the Philippine side.

The incident was initially linked to Philippine militant group Abu Sayyaf, but their involvement remains unconfirmed.

The Muslim group is believed to frequently travel into Malaysian waters looking for wealthy tourists to kidnap and ransom in order to fund their activities.

Chang’s abduction is not the first incident to be reported from Sabah, Malaysia’s easternmost state.

In August, nine fishermen from Semporna, on Sabah’s west coast, were taken by Filipino gunmen who wanted directions to the Pulau Mabul diving haven, The Star reported.

The gunmen reportedly abandoned the fishermen at sea upon spotting a GOF post near the diving resort before fleeing.

Such incidents have cast a spotlight on Malaysia’s security along its porous borders.

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