PETALING JAYA, April 10 – The abductors of two women taken from a resort off Semporna last week have demanded a US$11 million (RM36.4 million) ransom for the release of one of them, a Chinese national. However, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said there was no ransom demand for the other woman, a Filipina resort worker. “We’ve received a note that the kidnappers demanded 500 million pesos as ransom. “We’ve sent our negotiators to discuss through their appointed middle person to negotiate,” he told reporters after launching a segment on TV3’s ‘Wanita Hari Ini’ programme here today.
The Chinese woman, Gao Hua Yuan, 29, of Shanghai, and the resort worker, Marcy Dayawan, 40, were abducted from the Singamata Adventures and Reef Resort by a group of seven armed men about 10.30pm on April 2. Ahmad Zahid said the authorities would tighten security within the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSzone), with additional assets to be deployed there. “We’re working with the police, military, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (on this),” he said, adding that collaboration with the Philippine authorities was also being undertaken. “We’ll also look into getting cooperation from hoteliers within the ESSzone. There are 11 resorts altogether. We’re going to ask them to install high-definition closed-circuit television cameras at their premises (to boost security),” he said.