|Beijing tells Malaysia to rescue Shanghai woman taken from Sabah resort
China pressed Malaysia to rescue a Chinese female tourist who was abducted at night along with a Filipina from the Singamata Adventures and Reef Resort by gunmen.
(Pictured, tourists take cover at the Malaysian reef resort).
The two women were taken away in Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah, where there have been other kidnappings blamed on bandits from southern Philippines, AFP reports.
Gao Huayuan, 29, from Shanghai, was taken along with Filipina hotel employee Marcy Dayawan, 40, in a raid by about six gunmen at around 10:30 pm local time last night, Malaysian media reports said.
The resort is near the town of Semporna on Borneo island.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said while visiting Perth, Australia, the attack could be an attempt to stir up more trouble between China and Malaysia. He did not elaborate.
“Our priority is to ensure the safety of the hostages,'' state news agency Bernama cited him as saying.
Najib spoke in Perth while visiting the Australian staging base for the massive search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, the majority of whose passengers were Chinese.
But China urged Malaysian police to rescue its citizen and improve safety.
“We sent relevant staff to the site and ask the local police to make an all-out rescue effort while ensuring the security of Chinese citizens and taking effective measures to safeguard the security of Chinese tourists,'' foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters in Beijing.
He said China would “follow this incident closely.’’
Malaysian police and resort staff have declined comment.
The incident is another blow for the image of Sabah, and for Malaysian tourism, in the wake of the missing plane tragedy.
Philippine maritime police and other authorities were “actively and closely'' coordinating with their Malaysian counterparts in hopes of a “speedy resolution of the case,'' the Philippine embassy in Kuala Lumpur said in a statement.