Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) has issued a statement to the Philippine news media in which he denies any role in negotiations for the release of a Taiwanese woman kidnapped in Malaysia in the middle of last month.
Tsai said in the English-language statement that he represents neither Taiwan’s government nor the family of the kidnapped woman, identified as Chang An-wei (張安薇).
Thus far, he has provided only humanitarian help to Chang, who was taken by armed gunmen — believed to be Filipino — from a villa on the island of Pom Pom off the state of Sabah on Nov. 15, Tsai said.
Chang, 58, is believed to have been taken to an island in the southern Philippines close to the Malaysian border. The armed attack left Chang’s male companion, Hsu Li-min (許立民), dead with two bullet wounds to his chest.
Tsai said in his statement that only Chang’s brother, Chang Ta-kung (張大公), is authorized by the family to negotiate for her release.
He also said he will no longer be involved in the case, as he is suffering from ill-health.
“Any contact should go to Ms. Chang’s brother,” Tsai wrote.
“The Chang family is an ordinary family, not a rich one,” Tsai said, adding that Chang An-wei has been ill for a couple of years, citing information from her family.
Her health could deteriorate at any time if she is denied hospital treatment, he said.
Earlier in the day, the Chang family had also issued a statement denying that it has authorized any representatives to negotiate for Chang An-wei’s release.
The full text of the statement follows:
“The Chang family wants to express our sincere appreciation for the support the Malaysian police/government have provided in their investigations into the abduction of Chang An-wei,” it said.
“The family wants to emphasize that any investigative action should take into consideration Chang An-wei’s safety and should not jeopardize any ongoing negotiations,” it said.
“We would like to reaffirm that there are no government representatives nor any private parties that are conducting any negotiations with our endorsement. Chang An-wei’s brother is our sole authorized representative,” it added.