SEMPORNA (April 15): Police yesterday arrested the 64-year-old skipper of the pump boat which capsized near the waters of Kampung Tandoan, Pulau Timbun Matas here on Thursday night, resulting in the drowning of five people.
Semporna police chief Supt Mohd Farhan Lee Abdullah said the local man was detained at 12.50pm yesterday and would be remanded for further investigation,
“Police have opened an investigation paper under Section 304A of the Penal Code for causing death by negligence.
“Five passengers aged between two and 40 years died, while 14 others aged between one and 65 years, were rescued by villagers.
A 14-year-old girl and a seven-year-old boy are still missing,” he said in a statement.
He said police will look into all aspects of the incident, adding that the passengers had boarded the boat at Kampung Bakung Bakung and were on their way to Kampung Tandoan, Pulau Timbun Mata.
He urged those with information on the case to contact Semporna Criminal Investigation Department investigation officer Insp Khadijah at 019-8718002 or the nearest police station.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director for the Semporna Maritime Zone, Maritime Commander Norrimi Hassan said the dead were identified as Bunga Basah Nuhalan, 40; Anisa Harimalam, 20; Syawal, two ; Iman, two; and four-year-old Nurul Syafiqah.
“The dead victims and the two still missing are related to each other…the search area has now been extended to 68 nautical miles from the scene,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
Norrimi added that 60 rescuers from the MMEA, Fire and Rescue Department, the Marine Police Force and villagers are involved in the search and rescue of the two missing victims.
According to him, the boat was believed to have capsized following bad weather and big waves.