8-MONTH AN­GUISH ENDS

They will re­ceive the best treat­ment pos­si­ble af­ter or­deal, says Na­jib

New Straits Times - - Front Page - AVILA GERAL­DINE AND MELISSA DAR­LYNE CHOW KUALA LUMPUR news@nst.com.my

JOY com­min­gles with tears as two men cel­e­brate their free­dom from the tor­tur­ous grip of the Abu Sayyaf in the south­ern Philip­pines. At the prime min­is­ter’s res­i­dence in KL, they meet their fam­i­lies for the first time since they were ab­ducted off Lahad Datu on July 18 last year. The three other men who were taken with them are also now in safe hands.

AMAJOR break­through was marked with the re­lease of five Malaysian hostages held cap­tive by Abu Sayyaf ter­ror­ists in south­ern Philip­pines.

Eight months af­ter they were taken in wa­ters off Lahad Datu, two are back in the coun­try and have been re­united with their fam­i­lies while three oth­ers are re­cu­per­at­ing at a mil­i­tary hospi­tal in Jolo.

The five crew mem­bers of a tug­boat — Tayudin An­jut, 45, Abdul Rahim Sum­mas, 62, Fandy Bakran, 27, Mohd Ju­madil Rahim, 24, and Mohd Ridzuan Is­mail, 33 — were ab­ducted in Dent Haven wa­ters off Lahad Datu on July 18 last year.

The break­through be­gan with the res­cue of Tayudin and Rahim by Philip­pine se­cu­rity forces at a man­grove in Barangay Karudong in Kal­ing­galang Calu­ang, Sulu, on Thurs­day. Af­ter they were freed, Fandy, Ju­madil and Ridzuan were also res­cued by the Philip­pine au­thor­i­ties yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Tayudin and Abdul Rahim were re­united with their fam­i­lies yes­ter­day morn­ing at Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak’s res­i­dence at Ta­man Duta.

In thank­ing the po­lice, Wisma Pu­tra, Ke­lab Putera 1Malaysia and the Philip­pine au­thor­i­ties on the joint ef­fort to res­cue the hostages, Na­jib said no ran­som had been paid.

Na­jib said when he met them, the two men spoke of their eight­month or­deal and how it had greatly dis­tressed their spouses and fam­ily mem­bers.

“The stress on their wives and fam­i­lies was im­mense through­out their de­ten­tion,” he said.

On the aid to be ren­dered to the duo, Na­jib said both men would be placed in the first-class ward of Se­layang Hospi­tal as they un­dergo med­i­cal treat­ment.

He said Tayudin’s eye­sight had been im­paired and that he re­quired surgery, while Rahim was un­able to walk prop­erly.

“We will give them the best treat­ment pos­si­ble,” Na­jib said.

Hold­ing back tears, Tayudin said re­turn­ing to Malaysia was a big re­lief for him and Rahim.

“We want to thank the govern­ment for help­ing us to re­turn to our home­land. We are crew mem­bers, we are poor. It would have been im­pos­si­ble for the kid­nap­pers to re­lease us with­out help.

“We are glad that we no longer have to go through the an­guish we faced for the past eight months,” Tayudin said.

In Tawau, Ridzuan’s wife, Hariyanti Hamsi, 31, was in tears when she dis­cov­ered that her hus­band had also been freed.

“I hope our re­u­nion will be ar­ranged as soon as pos­si­ble,” she said at her home in Kam­pung Oten­tik, Tan­jung Batu Kera­mat, yes­ter­day. Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Teoh Pei Ying

BER­NAMA PIC

Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Ros­mah Man­sor, with Tayudin An­jut (right), Abdul Rahim Sum­mas (left) and their fam­ily mem­bers at Ta­man Duta yes­ter­day. With them is KP1M pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (stand­ing, left).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.