RM12 mln raised for Sarawakians held by Abu Sayyaf

SIBU: A total RM12 million raised to seek the release of the hostages were handed over to the relevant parties concerned in Sabah to handle the matter.

Datuk Lau Cheng Kiong, uncle to one of the hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf gunmen for 69 days, announced this at a press conference this morning (June 15) in response to questions on the whereabouts of the money raised to seek the hostages’ release.

Of the amount, he explained that RM1 million were proceeds from the mortgage of their two houses at Pulau Li Hua, RM2 million from the shipping company where the hostages worked and another RM9 million from members of the public.

The contributors included those from China, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, Solomon Islands and Malaysia.

“All the money raised was handed over to the relevant parties in Sabah to handle the hostage situation,’ he said at the press conference which saw the four freed hostages kneeling in a gesture of gratefulness to the public for their support in securing their release.

“Hopefully, this will clear the air over the money raised to seek the release of the hostages once and for all,” he added.

When queried by Oriental Daily News on whether the ransom money had been paid, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim said to ask the family members. “I don’t know they paid ransom money, therefore the best is to ask the family members.”

Lau is uncle to Johnny Lau Jung Hieng, 21, the youngest of the four hostages.

He was speaking on behalf of Wong Chii Ming, father of brothers Teck Kang, 31 and Teck Chii, 29. The other hostage is Wong Hung Sing, 34.

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