|Gustiah Sultan (front right) with family members|
The family members of the crewmen hope that their release will end the constant nightmare of worrying over the fate of the hostages who are believed to be kept at a remote location in the southern Philippines.
One of the hostages’ family members, Gustiah Sultan, 46, wife to kidnapped crewman Tayudin Anjut, 45, hopes that all the hostages will be released by New Year’s Eve.
“We have never given up praying that the New Year that is just a few days away will open up a new page in our lives – I plead for the release of my husband and four other hostages in safe condition because their children and family longs for them.
“Throughout the course of my husband being held hostage, we have endured many challenging days as the constant worry over their fate is foremost on our mindm” she told Berita Harian.
Since last September, Gustiah said that the family members of the hostages have organized charity donation drives to raise the ransom for the crewmen, however, the amount of money collected is still not enough to secure their release.
On 18 July, five of the crew members of the tugboat Serudong 3 were kidnapped at Dent Heaven in Lahad Datu waters as the crewmen were enroute to Semporna after sending sandbags to Sandakan.
The tugboat that was found stuck in between sandbars with the engine still running without an operator; whilst the cargo was ransacked before the crew were confirmed to be kidnapped and taken to the southern Philippines region.