Family members of a Taiwanese couple who fell victim to gunmen on a Malaysian island arrived in Sabah yesterday morning.
Hsu Li-min (許立民), 57, was shot dead on Nov. 15 and his 58-year-old female companion, Chang An-wei (張安薇), was reportedly kidnapped by the gunmen on Pom Pom Island, off the east coast of Sabah.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials are accompaning Chang’s brother, Chang Ta-kung (張大公), and three members of Hsu’s family, including his brother Hsu Li-jen (許立人), on their trip.
Before leaving from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday, Chang Ta-kung would not comment on whether he was taking money for a ransom.
The four arrived in Sabah’s capital of Kota Kinabalu at 11:30am and were greeted by locally based Taiwanese businesspeople and members of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia.
They were to take a plane to the town of Tawau in the afternoon to claim Hsu Li-min’s body. They will also help police with their investigations on Pom Pom Island and wait for news on Chang An-wei.
Chang’s kidnappers are reportedly based on an island along the Malaysian-Philippine maritime border and are said to have demanded a ransom.
The timing of the relatives’ return home is dependent on developments in the situation and the possibility of Chang’s safe release.
Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) has denied that the government had done little to help with the case.
Speaking in the legislature, he said the government has been taking action quietly because the hostage is still in the hands of the kidnappers.
“We have by no means been negligent in the rescue mission,” the premier said.