KOTA KINABALU, Nov 5 ― Despite the government’s stand not to pay ransom to kidnappers, Malaysian authorities are negotiating with the captors of two Malaysians being held hostage on Jolo island in Southern Philippines with the hopes of a “win-win situation”.
State police commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said that the police, state and federal government were trying to find the best way to resolve the situation.
“We are still negotiating. Our stand is not to pay ransom, but on humanitarian grounds…we try to negotiate for a win-win situation,” said Jalaluddin when speaking to reporters after attending the monthly police gathering at the State police headquarters here today.
The two Malaysians ― Marine Kons Zakiah Aliep, 26, and Sabah fishbreeder Chan Sai Chuin, 32 ― were kidnapped separately by different factions of the Abu Sayyaf but were reported by The Star to be held together now after a recent attack by Philippine military.
Kidnappers have been calling the two men’s wives daily with threats to behead the hostages if the ransom demands of RM3 million each is not met by the November deadline.
“The issue is now at the federal government level, and they are talking to the state to try and resolve it. We have also written a letter to the Philippine police, asking for their assistance in resolving this,” he said.
Jalaluddin added that there have been some 140 calls between Zakiah and his kidnappers to his wife ― Sharifah Erna Berson while Chan’s wife Chin Pek Nyen said she receives up to 17 calls daily demanding the ransom.
Zakiah was abducted while on duty at the Mabul Water Bungalows Resort on Mabul island on July 12 while his colleague Kpl Ab Rajah Jamuan, 32 was shot dead.
Chan was taken from his fish farm at Kampung Sapang in Kunak on June 16.
Chin, 26 had made a public plea last Friday asking for help in securing the release of her husband. The distraught Chin said despite meeting with some politicians, no one has come to her aid or told her about the latest development in the negotiation process or if they were planning to pay ransom.
She said the last time she spoke to her husband was before Hari Raya and since then has only spoken to her husband’s abductors and given her till November before they “send his head back”.
Chin has since met up with representatives from the Federal Government including Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.