KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 A Chinese tourist and a
Philippine hotel worker were abducted by armed men at a diving
resort in Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah, Malaysian media
reported on Thursday.
The two abducted women were at the resort's jetty on
Wednesday night when the men arrived by boat, Malaysia's New
Straits Times newspaper cited Eastern Sabah Security Command
Director Mohammad Mentek as saying.
An employee at the Singamata Reef Resort, contacted by
Reuters, confirmed an abduction had taken place, but declined to
provide details. Malaysian police could not immediately be
reached for comment.
The report comes at a time when Malaysia's image has been
tarnished in China by negative publicity over its handling of
the March 8 disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines
flight with 239 people aboard, most of them Chinese nationals.
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.
Last February, more than 100 armed Filipinos landed by boat
and launched attacks on Malaysian security forces, sparking a
major security crisis in the area close to the Singamata resort.
In November, armed men landed on Pom-Pom island near
Semporna, killed a tourist from Taiwan and abducted his wife.
She was later rescued by Philippine security forces.
(Reporting by Al Zaquan Amer Hamzah, Yantoultra Ngui in Kuala
Lumpur and; Sui-Lee Wee in Beijing; Writing by Stuart Grudgings;
Editing by Clarence Fernandez)