KUALA LUMPUR (dpa) – Suspected Filipino militants have delayed the execution of a Malaysian hostage to allow his family more time to raise ransom money, reports said Sunday.
A police source in Sabah said negotiations are still going on for the release of fish breeder Chan Sai Chiun and Malaysian police officer Zakiah Aleip, who were taken hostage by the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf rebels.
“We hope the two hostages would be released soon,” he said. The kidnappers gave Chan’s family another 20 days to raise the three million ringgit (890,000 dollars) ransom, according to the Star newspaper.
They had earlier threatened to kill Chan by the end of November if ransom was not paid.
Chan’s wife Chin Pek Nyen said negotiators had managed to persuade the kidnappers to extend the deadline, the Star report said.
Chan was seized at his farm in Sabah’s Kunak town in June, while Zakiah was captured during a rebel raid at a resort in Mabul Island off the nearby town of Semporna.
Both hostages were believed to be being held in the militants’ lair on Jolo Island, in the southern Philippines. In October, Abu Sayyaf released two German hostages after six months in captivity on Jolo Island after a reported ransom payment.