Malaysian police yesterday said the Philippines’ Abu Sayyaf militant Islamist group was believed to be behind the killing of a Taiwanese tourist and the kidnapping of his wife.
Unidentified gunmen shot dead 57-year-old Hsu Li-min (許立民) and kidnapped his female companion, 58-year-old Chang An-wei (張安薇), early on Friday on Pom Pom Island, a popular scuba diving location in the eastern state of Sabah on Borneo Island.
The incident — in a remote part that was rocked earlier this year by a bloody Philippine militant incursion — has underlined continued threats in the region despite a Malaysian security clampdown.
Police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said Abu Sayyaf was suspected to be behind the attack.
“We believe the terrorists were able to slip in because there has been a big mobilization of resources of the Philippine armed forces from the country’s south to the north to help out in relief work for victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan,” he was quoted by national news agency Bernama as saying.
Khalid added the attackers were believed to have come in a group of eight in a speedboat.
Authorities are still trying to find the kidnapped woman with help from their Philippine counterparts, he said.
Local authorities said yesterday that Chang is likely still alive, but her armed captors may have taken her to an island off the Philippines.
Funded by the late al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, Abu Sayyaf has targeted foreigners with kidnappings for ransom and has been accused of most of the Philippines’ deadliest insurgent attacks.
The southern Philippines is just a short boat ride away from Sabah’s east coast.
Meanwhile, Sabah Police Commissioner Hamza Taib said Hsu’s body has been sent to a nearby hospital for an autopsy.
Police are continuing to gather information from the other tourists at the resort, who reportedly have not left the island and will continue with their vacation plans. Chang and Hsu checked into the resort on Tuesday and were scheduled to check out on Wednesday this week.
Their family has asked Taiwan’s government for assistance.
Hsu Li-min’s elder brother, Hsu Li-jen (許立人), said he found it unbelievable that a shooting like this could take place at a popular tourist resort, urging Taiwan to help his family find justice.
The elder Hsu said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has conveyed the family’s wishes that Malaysian authorities not conduct an autopsy without the family present.
The family of the deceased is scheduled to travel to Malaysia tomorrow to put his affairs in order.
Additional reporting by CNA
PROTECTION: The New Taipei City mayor said a pass could cover stores, but not eateries, while Ko Wen-je said vaccinated people could be exempted from some rules Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) on Saturday proposed implementing a “COVID-19 pass” regulation that would allow only vaccinated people into certain areas. New Taipei City is planning to require a “COVID-19 pass” for entry to “vulnerable spaces” to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Hou said. Non-students entering elementary schools in New Taipei City are required to show their COVID-19 vaccination cards or proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test. This is for the protection of students under the age of 12, who are not eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, city officials have said. The
PAPERS, PLEASE: A digital certificate or a printout would return one of three results: green for ‘pass,’ red for ‘not passed’ or yellow for ‘to be determined,’ the CECC said Starting today, people can download a Digital COVID-19 Certificate, with the government now requiring people at night clubs, karaoke bars and other businesses in “eight major special establishment categories” to be fully vaccinated and present a vaccination certificate. The eight categories include dance venues, massage parlors, hostess bars and saunas. Customers and service personnel at the venues have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, as they can neither avoid contact with people nor strictly observe distancing guidelines, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said. As such, both groups are required to be fully vaccinated, meaning that they must have had at least a
LAWMAKERS RALLY: Beijing’s unlegislated actions breach international and WTO trade rules, and affect the basic principles of the EU single market, the letter said A group of 41 EU lawmakers on Tuesday condemned China for its political and economic coercion of Lithuania, and called on leaders of the bloc to demonstrate solidarity with Vilnius. The letter was initiated by Slovakian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Miriam Lexmann, who is cochair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China. “We, the undersigned members of the European Parliament, resolutely condemn political and economic coercion of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) against Lithuania,” the letter said. The letter addressed European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and
‘GOOD FRIEND’: The Slovenian prime minister said he had visited Taiwan four or five times, and that Taiwanese should have the right to determine their future The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday welcomed Slovenia’s plan to establish a representative office in Taiwan, after Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa revealed the plan in an interview with Indian TV station Doordarshan on Monday. Taiwan is a democratic country that respects international democratic standards and international laws, the Slovenian prime minister said in the interview. Slovenia and Taiwan are working on “exchanging representatives,” he said. “Of course, this will not be on the level of embassies. It will be on the same level as many of the EU member countries.” “When I spoke with our businessmen who are trading with Taiwan, they