Malaysian hon­ey­moon in­ter­rupted by ab­duc­tion

China Daily (Canada) - - WORLD - By ZHAO SHENGNAN zhaosheng­nan@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Jour­nal­ist Li Xue, 30, had been plan­ning a re­lax­ing hon­ey­moon un­der the Sabah sun away from the pres­sures of work for the last two months.

In­stead, she made head­lines in China on Thurs­day af­ter reporting an armed raid and kid­nap­ping.

“I was not scared be­cause the po­lice ar­rived very quickly,” said Li, an edi­tor from Western China Me­trop­o­lis Daily in Chengdu, Sichuan prov­ince, who was stay­ing at a re­sort in the east­ern­most Malaysian state. “I felt an­gry at the kid­nap­pers and what they had done. And I was dis­ap­pointed that my hon­ey­moon was ru­ined.”

Li was the first Chi­nese wit­ness to re­port the in­ci­dent in which six gun­men stormed the re­sort and ab­ducted two women — a 29-year-old Chi­nese tourist and a 40-year-old ho­tel worker from the Philip­pines. The gun­men es­caped in a speed­boat.

Li said she was about to go to bed when she heard women scream­ing and the sounds of people scat­ter­ing in panic.

A few mo­ments later, Li, whose room was only a few me­ters away from the ab­duc­tion, heard a speed­boat en­gine rev up and then fade into the night. With her hus­band and two friends, Li had ar­rived four days ear­lier on her first visit to Malaysia.

About 10 min­utes af­ter the in­ci­dent, she said, the ho­tel asked about 60 guests, in­clud­ing se­nior cit­i­zens and

Maybe I will not visit Malaysia any­more, at least not Sabah. It’s too close to the Philip­pines.” LI XUE EDI­TOR AT WESTERN CHINA ME­TROP­O­LIS DAILY

chil­dren, to gather in the can­teen, where the ab­duc­tion was ex­plained.

When they learned that the re­sort had been raided and armed men may still be in the vicin­ity, the guests lay on the floor, Li said.

Ho­tel work­ers later helped Li and the guests get to safe places in the nearby town or at the air­port.

Al­most all the guests left or planned to leave ahead of sched­ule, but Li said she would stay in Malaysia as planned un­til April 7.

On Thurs­day, when she should have been en­joy­ing her hon­ey­moon, she was fil­ing news re­ports and giv­ing in­ter­views to many Chi­nese news or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“Maybe I will not visit Malaysia any­more, at least not Sabah,” she said. “It’s too close to the Philip­pines.”

Sabah is a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for Chi­nese tourists, but it faces per­sis­tent se­cu­rity prob­lems be­cause of its prox­im­ity to the restive south­ern Philip­pines.

In­sur­gents oc­cu­py­ing nearby is­lands have car­ried out sim­i­lar kid­nap­pings of tourists in the re­gion be­fore, seek­ing ran­som.

WESTERN CHINA ME­TROP­O­LIS DAILY / FOR CHINA DAILY

Ter­ri­fied tourists hide in the lobby of the re­sort ho­tel where a Chi­nese tourist was kid­napped near Pu­lau Bum-Bum in Sem­porna, Malaysia, on Wed­nes­day evening.

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