Freed Malaysian widow wants rest, lives quiet life PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 10 November 2015 13:26

For 50-year-old widow Thien Nyuk Fun, her nearly six-month ordeal in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf abductors is over.

All she wants is to be at home in Sandakan, Sabah and rest.

The Ocean King Seafood Restaurant manager is now looking forward to a quiet life to recover from her worst nightmare under the hands of the notorious gunmen who kept her on the run in the jungle terrains of Jolo island in southern Philippines.

Freedom came close to midnight Sunday when Abu Sayyaf gunmen handed over Thien to Filipino and Malaysian negotiators working on the hostage families’ behalf.

Thien was brought back by speedboat to Sandakan at about 7am Monday.

“She is tired but healthy,” said a relative of the mother of two children.

“She just wants to rest and be with the family,” said the relatives, adding that Thien and her two sons and elderly mother are now happily reunited.

Thien is unlikely to speak publicly about her ordeal as efforts are continuing to get the remaining hostage Sarawakian Bernard Then, 39, out of Jolo.

It is not known why Then was not released along with Thien though sources indicate the situation among the Abu Sayyaf groups was tensing up the final leg of negotiations that lasted over a week.

It is not uncommon for other bandit groups to try and “abduct” hostages being released by their main captors.

Both Thien and Then were abducted by kidnap-for-ransom groups from the Ocean Seafood Restaurant in Sandakan on May 15.

They later handed over the victims to an Abu Sayyaf leader Indang Susukan.

According to Philippines intelligence sources, Thien was released by another commander Al Habsy from Indanan area in Jolo at about 11pm Sunday.

Negotiators for the two families had hoped to get both of the Malaysian hostages out together but it is understood that negotiations had hit a bump when other Abu Sayyaf groups had complicated efforts to secure Then’s freedom.

Efforts are still underway to negotiate for his freedom that could take a few days, to a week. — The Star