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Friday, 9 May 2014

Philippine police fired at Chinese fishing boat; gunmen kidnapping farm manager and tourists...

Captain recalls attack by Philippine police

"They rushed toward us in a boat and fired at us," He Junting, captain of the fishing boat Qiongqionghai 03168, said Thursday when recalling an attack by Philippine police.

He's boat was about 300 meters from Qiongqionghai 09063, which was seized by Philippine police at about 10 a.m. Tuesday in waters off the Half Moon Shoal in the South China Sea, with 11 fishermen on board captured.

He drove his boat and rushed away after seeing the armed vessel. It encountered another armed boat later but safely got away.

"If we had not known the sea conditions around the Half Moon Shoal well, we would never have got away from them," he told Xinhua.

"If we delayed a little bit, our nine fishermen aboard would have been seized," he said.

The Half Moon Shoal is China's inherent territory. It has rich fishing resources, good anchorages and harbors, the captain said.

"It is a traditional fishing ground for fishermen in Qionghai City, Hainan Province," He said. "We have been fishing there many times."

The Beidou navigation system installed on Qiongqionghai 09063 was switched off by the Philippine police, meaning the 11 fishermen lost contact with China, according to a Qionghai fishing administration official on condition of anonymity.

There are still 48 Chinese fishing boats in the waters off the Nansha Islands, according to the Qionghai municipal fishing administration station.

Police will make contacts with the boats four times a day and make sure to know their positions. They will guide fishing boats to leave dangerous sea areas if needed, said Yu Yi, head of the Tanmen township border police station of Qionghai City.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday urged the Philippines to "immediately" release the detained fishermen and the boat.

China has demanded the Philippines "make rational explanations", said spokeswoman Hua Chunying at the daily press briefing, warning the Philippine side to "take no more provocative action".

Hua said a Chinese maritime police boat has arrived at the sea area. China's Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines have already lodged representations with the Philippine side.

Hua reiterated that China has undisputable sovereign rights over the sea area, including the Half Moon Shoal of Nansha Islands, where the incident occurred. - Xinhua

Another Chinese national kidnapped in Malaysia by Philippine gunmen

Once again a Chinese tourist is abducted from Sabah. Yes, again!

Indeed the word 'again" epitomizes the vulnerability of Sabah's marine defence, the loopholes in the state's security, the woes of the state's tourism industry, the deeply planted worries of the state's residents, as well as the indignation of all Malaysians.

It is not just a scandal for Sabah, but a crying shame for the entire nation.

Are you kidding me? Just one month and now we have another tourist kidnapped from our territory.

Goodness! Why a Chinese national again?

Is it Abu Sayyaf again?

Public reactions have been a concoction of varying sentiments: shock, disbelief, frustration, anguish, humiliation...

More than a hundred Chinese passengers onboard MH370 are yet to be located while the young female Chinese tourist abducted from a Semporna resort is yet to be freed. And now we have the Chinese manager of a fish farm snatched away.

Many Chinese nationals have cancelled their travel plans to Malaysia after the MH370 and Semporna kidnapping incidents. So far no bookings have been received from Chinese travel agencies.

There were a total of 1.6 million Chinese tourists visiting Malaysia last year but according to estimates, the number will likely shrink by 400,000 to 800,000 this year.

With another Chinese national now kidnapped in Sabah, it is foreseeable that Chinese tourists will shun the country while other nationals might review their travel plans. To be honest, no one wants to visit a country that fails to guarantee foreigners' safety.

This is not the first time Filipino terrorists have kidnapped hostages from Sabah in demanding exorbitant ransoms from the government. Last November, a Taiwanese couple was assaulted on Bon Bon island off Sabah. The husband was killed while the wife was abducted, to be released only after a large sum of ransom was paid to the kidnappers several months later.

In April 2000, some 21 people were kidnapped by Filipino militants, including 12 foreigners. The kidnappers released the hostages after US$20 million was paid by the Philippine government at the mediation of Libya.

Last February, armed Sulu terrorists breached our territorial waters to stake a claim on their '"ancestral land" culminating in bloody clashes with our military.

Have we done or learned anything after all this? Why do the terrorists roam so freely into our territory even after the formation of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM)? Why do our security forces appear so helpless in fending off these intruders, allowing them to do whatever they wish in our country?

We remain so helpless and powerless in the face of such blatant provocation from these lawless militants. We have not only surrendered their insatiable ransom demands but also the confidence of Malaysians towards this country as well as our international reputation and image.

- Mysinchew.

Sabah shaken by kidnapping of fish farm manager from Guangzhou

Crime scene: Comm Hamza (right) and Sabah crime division chief SAC Omar Mamah showing photos of the kidnapping location. — Bernama

LAHAD DATU: Fresh off a piracy case on Sunday, Sabah was shaken by the kidnapping of another Chinese national from an island nearby.

Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman has since announced that a curfew and travels restrictions would be imposed in high risk areas off the coast of Sabah.

The kidnapping of 34-year-old fish farm manager Yang Zai Lin from Guangzhou saw five Filipino gunmen in a brief shootout with the pursuing Malaysian security forces before they fled to Sibutu Island in the southern Philippines.

The kidnapping came about 28 hours after four pirates armed with M16 rifles attacked four fishermen and robbed them of their outboard engines late on Sunday at Tanjung Labian, close to Kampung Tanduo that was intruded by Sulu gunmen in February last year.

The 10-minute raid at 2.45am on Tuesday at Wonderful Terrace Sdn Bhd fish farm on Pulau Baik, close to the shores of Silam, about 30km south of Lahad Datu, has shocked Sabahans who are now questioning the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom).

The kidnappers, also armed with M16 rifles, had paddled their 40HP white boat to the fish farm, avoiding the security guard by moving towards a second jetty on the other side of the farm.

Sources said that two of the masked men headed straight to the room of a female cook and demanded to know the whereabouts of the Hong Kong-based owner of the fish farm.

On learning that the owner had left just a few hours before their arrival, after a four-day stay at the farm, they grabbed Yang who had come out to check on the commotion outside his room, which was adjacent to the cook’s room.

They pulled him to the waiting speedboat where the guard was being held.

However, the gunmen pushed the guard off the boat and sped off towards international waters.

Security forces were immediately notified of the kidnapping.

Due to the proximity of the incident to mainland, police set up roadblocks along the Tawau-Lahad Datu road while at sea they went on red alert under Ops Tutup.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said that at about 6.20am they spotted a 200HP speedboat close to the Malaysian border island of Mataking and as police tried to intercept the gunmen, gunfire was exchanged.

He said the gunmen managed to slip into Alice Reef and flee towards the Philippines’ Sibutu island.

He said they believed that the gunmen had switched from their 40HP boat to the higher powered 200HP speedboat to make their escape out of Sabah.

Disclosing they had asked assistance from the Philippines police, Comm Hamza added that they were also checking whether the same group was behind the act of piracy at Tanjung Labian on Sunday.

According to sources, the pirates in the Labian incident had used a black boat and had spoken in local Malay while in Silam they spoke in the Bajau dialect, common among the bajaus on both sides of the Malaysia-Philippines border.

However, they were not ruling out the possibility that they might be linked to each other.

On April 2, gunmen from southern Philippines snatched Chinese tourist Gao Huayun, 29, and resort worker Marcy Dayawan, 40, from the Singamata Reef Resort in the neighbouring Semporna district.

Their whereabouts in southern Philippines remain unknown though the Malaysian authorities say that they are safe.

On Nov 15 last year, a Taiwanese woman Chang An Wei, 58, was kidnapped from the Pom Pom resort while her husband Li Min Hsu, 57, was killed when gunmen raided the Pom Pom resort. She was released a month later after an undisclosed ransom was paid

 - The Star/Asia News Network

Related Story:

We're sick of the abductions, says MP
Measures to be imposed in Sabah waters

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PETALING JAYA: The notorious Abu Sayyaf group believed to be responsible for the abduction of a Chinese and Philippine national in Sabah used to demand up to US$3.5mil (RM11.5mil) for the release of non-Filipino citizens, said a security analyst. Prof Dr Aruna Gopinath who specialises in maritime security said the separatist group based at ... KL and Manila in hunt for gunmen · Gao's mum gets sms just before attack · Websites show Singamata still popular with ...

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