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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hostage: Without ransom, I will be first to be beheaded

Wong Teck Kang, who was taken hostage by Abu Sayyaf terrorists, fears for his life, refuses to work as a sailor anymore.

Wong Teck Kang, one of the freed Abu Sayyaf hostages, has revealed that he would have been first to be beheaded had the al Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group not received the ransom money.

According to a Sin Chew Daily report, Wong revealed this at a press conference in Sibu, Sarawak today.

The 31-year old, who had been working in the shipping industry for eight years, also said he no longer wants to work as a sailor and wants to look for a job on dry land.

“Even if the salary was higher, I would not return to sea, not even if I was being beaten to death. I am so afraid.”

He said the incident was a nightmare, and that every time he closed his eyes, the entire ordeal would be replayed in his mind.

Wong also refused to talk about the ordeal again as it was too scary, adding he did not think he would make it home alive.

“We would like to thank everyone for their donations towards our ransom. Our lives have been saved by you.”

Meanwhile, his brother, Wong Teck Chii, 29 said even though they were constantly being moved around from one location to another, they could not escape as they were guarded by armed militants at all times, and they had their feet or hands tied with metal chains.

The brothers’ relative, Lau Cheng Kiong, who represented the four hostages’ families revealed that the ransom was withdrawn from the Hong Leong Bank branch in Sandakan, Sabah and handed over to the police.

Due to Bank Negara Malaysia regulations, all the donations had to be divided into 12 steel cases and sent to the bank at 4pm last Tuesday.

Lau said the money was then put into plastic thrash bags by two Special Branch police officers from Sandakan before being transferred to the Sandakan police headquarters at 6pm.

Earlier, the four hostages had said that the ransom was handed over to the Abu Sayyaf but declined to reveal the amount.

They said that the ransom money came from donations contributed by the public.

It had previously been reported that some RM 400,000 in donations had been collected. However, media reports had stated that the abductors had demanded for a ransom of 300 million pesos (RM30 million), before it was reduced to 180 million pesos (RM18 million).

Teck Kang and Teck Chii were with their cousin Johnny Lau Jung Hien, 21 and colleague Wong Hung Sing, 34, when they were abducted off the waters of Pulau Ligitan, near Semporna, Sabah on April 1.

The four were released last Wednesday and arrived in Sibu at 8.45am yesterday, from Kota Kinabalu where they had their statements recorded by the police. - FMT

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