Chinese citizen kidnapped in Malaysia's Borneo

BEIJING Tue May 6, 2014 1:53am EDT

BEIJING May 6 (Reuters) - A Chinese citizen working for a fishing company has been kidnapped on the Malaysian island of Borneo and China has urged his speedy rescue, state media said on Tuesday.

The kidnap in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah came a month after unidentified gunmen took two women, including a Chinese tourist, hostage from an island off Sabah.

Malaysia's image has been battered in China over the handling of the investigation into the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines flight with 239 people aboard, most of them Chinese nationals, on March 8.

The Chinese consulate in Kuching, in the neighbouring Malaysian state of Sarawak, said that the new kidnapping victim was from the southern Chinese province of Guizhou and worked for a Malaysian fishing company, state news agency Xinhua reported.

The consulate has called Sabah's police commissioner to urge Malaysia rescue the Chinese citizen in a timely way, Xinhua said.

Malaysian newspaper The Star identified the victim as Yang Zailin, a manager of a local fish farm, and said the gunmen who had taken him hostage had fled towards the Philippines.

Sabah has become a popular tourist destination for Chinese in recent years, but has faced security problems due to its proximity to the restive southern Philippines where Muslim rebels have fought the government for decades and sprouted multiple armed splinter groups. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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