KUCHING: The family of Sarawakian hostage Bernard Then Ted Fen who was reported to have been beheaded in Jolo, southern Philippines are pleading to the governments of Malaysia and the Philippines for help.
They hoped both governments would expedite search and repatriation of his remains here.
“We the family of Bernard Then Ted Fen were informed of his demise in Jolo, southern Philippines on Tuesday (Nov 17). We thank relatives, friends and well-wishers for all their prayers, thoughts and support during the difficult months leading to this tragic news. We appreciate all your help to keep us strong.”
“For the last 188 days we lived with hopes, yet hopelessness. With this dreaded news, we continue to pray for the repose of his soul. May he rest in peace,” they said in a statement here today.
The family also asked that they be given privacy to mourn Then’s loss.
Terrorist group Abu Sayyaf was reported to have beheaded Then, the last Malaysian hostage it kidnapped from Ocean King Seafood Restaurant in Sandakan in May this year after releasing the manager Thien Nyuk Fung just a week ago.
Meanwhile, state Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah has called on all parties to respect the family’s request for privacy in their time of sorrow.
“The parents have requested for privacy, and we should respect their wish. But if they need especially in terms of counselling, we are prepared to provide,” she said at a special media conference here today.
Earlier, Fatimah in a joint statement with the coalition of women from various races and religion from Sarawak described the news as horrific and condemned the heinous act as terrorism.
The statement said such act of extremism was not only inhumane but against any religious teachings.
“No religion condones such act of terrorism even if it is done in the name of religion. We offer our sincere condolences to the family of the deceased, his wife, children, parents as they go through this very difficult times and we pray that they will find strength and comfort,” said the statement.- BERNAMA