SANDAKAN: The people of Sandakan are angered and saddened over the killing of Bernard Then Ted Fen, 39, one of the victims kidnapped at the Ocean King Seafood Restaurant here, six months ago.
At the same time, they urged security forces to always be on the alert and step up security in the eastern part of the state, to prevent a recurrence of kidnapping cases.
Elopura area captain, Leong Tshun Kian said, Bernard Then’s murder showed that militants from the southern Philippines who were involved in the abduction were cruel and heartless.
He said the kidnappers’ inhumane act was unacceptable and the government and security forces must take the matter seriously.
“As local residents here, we are deeply saddened by this devastating tragedy and we sympathise with Bernard Then’s family,” he told Bernama here today.
According to international media reports, Bernard Then was beheaded by Abu Sayyaf kidnappers yesterday.
Two people were kidnapped in the incident last May, the other victim was the manager of the seafood restaurant, Thien Nyuk Fun who was released on Nov 8.
Bernard Then was reportedly killed in a remote location, believed to be a stronghold of Abu Sayyaf militants in the southern Philippines.
In the meantime, Sabah Fishermen Association Sandakan Zone head, Shaiful Bahari Muin appealed to the security forces, especially the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) to take the ill-fated incident seriously.
He said they (ESSCom) should step up patrol in the eastern waters and ensure that militants from southern Philippines were not able to encroach into our waters.
“The abduction, ransom demand and Malaysians being killed by militants in southern Philippines must be stopped,” said Shaiful Bahari.- BERNAMA