September 4, 2000, New Straits Times, Freed hostages in touch with rebels 'We receive phone calls from captors'
SINGAPORE, Sun.---Three Malaysians held hostage for four months by rebels in the southern Philippines remain friends with their former kidnappers and have regular contact with them, a local newspaper reported today.
Diving instructor Ken Fong and forestry officials Basilius Jim and Baln Krishnan Nair, who were released on Aug 18, said they regularly receive phone calls from their captors, the Abu Sayyaf.
"They have our phone numbers, they asked for them," Fong was quoted as saying in Singapore's Sunday Times. "We talk to them to find out how the remaining hostages are doing."
The three Malaysians were among 21 tourists and workers, mostly foreigners, kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf from Sipadan island on April 23 and taken to the Philippine island of Jolo.
The group, which says it is fighting for an independent Islamic State in the southern Philippines, is still holding six foreigners and 12 Filipinos.
The rebels freed six hostages last week for a reported US$6 million (RM22.8 million) ransom paid by Libya. It had freed other hostages earlier.
The three who spoke to the paper said the nine Malaysian hostages were treated better than the foreigners.
They were allowed to handle weapons, and two, who were given guns, even attended a wedding with several Abu Sayyaf members, according to the report.
As a result of his four months in captivity, Fong said he now knows how to strip and clean an M-16.
"It was tough in the first month, but not because of the treatment," Baln was quoted as saying. "It was the army offensives that made it harder because we had to move constantly."
Fong said he wanted to take up arms with his captors to fight off the Philippine army.
Fong said he asked rebel leader Ghalib "Commander Robot" Andang to give him a gun when the military launched an attack on the Abu Sayyaf's jungle camp to try to free the hostages.
He revealed that on May 2, nine days after being taken hostage he asked Commander Robot to give him a gun, saying the army offensive made no sense and none of the hostages wanted to be rescued that way.
"I told Commander Robot to give me a gun and I will help them fight because I did not want to die that way," he said.
The report did not say if Fong was given firearms then, but quoted him as saying that during the 45-minute battle the hostages lay flat on the floor of a small hut hiding from the bullets and bombs.
Fong said he did not know what was the catalyst for his release, and suggested guns may have been paid in exchange.
"It could have been a number of things but the Abu Sayyaf always had new guns," he said. ---Agencies.
(FILES) This file photo taken 27 May 200...
|Caption:||JOLO, PHILIPPINES: (FILES) This file photo taken 27 May 2000 shows Malaysian hostages Abdul Jawat Sulawat (2nd from L) and Fong Yin Ken (5th from L) who is behind Filipino hostage Roland Ullah (4th from L in white shirt) and other Malaysian hostages are held at the camp of Abu Sayyaf kidnappers in a jungle hideout in Jolo island southern Philippines. Abdul and Fong testified in Manila court 24 September and identified Galib Andang, known as 'Commander Robot' as the Abu Sayyaf rebel leader who kidnapped 21 people in the Malaysian resort island of Sipadan on 23 April 2000. The hostages were released mostly in exchange for huge ransom payoff. AFP PHOTO / ROMEO GACAD (Photo credit should read ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)|
|Date created:||27 May 2000|
So, in the photograph above, taken 34 days after they were taken captive, as well as in the three images below, taken only eight days after capture, the Malaysian men have maintained to a remarkable degree their personal hygiene. They obviously have access to razors, and, apparently, some Liquid Tide laundry detergent, although who pays the electric bill for a washing machine and steam iron in their "jungle lair" is unknown.
Werner Wellert Of Germany Points Towards Chalk Marks Counting The Number Of Days Held Cap...
|Caption:||368893 18: Werner Wellert Of Germany Points Towards Chalk Marks Counting The Number Of Days Held Captive As He Sits Beside Malaysian Hostages While Being Detained In A Bamboo Hut At The Abu Sayyaf Camp In The Jungles Of Bandang Village, Talipao Town On Jolo Island In The Sulu Province Of Southern Philippines May 1, 2000. The 21 Hostages Urged For United Nations Intervention To Help Resolve The Hostage Crisis. (Photo By Pool/Getty Images)|
|Date created:||02 May 2000|
Malaysian Hostages Are Guarded By Two Muslim Rebels Armed With Assault Rifles While Being...
|Caption:||368893 04: Malaysian Hostages Are Guarded By Two Muslim Rebels Armed With Assault Rifles While Being Detained At The Abu Sayyaf Mountain Camp On Jolo Island In The Sulu Province Of The Southern Philippines May 1, 2000. Three Journalists From International News Organizations Were Allowed By The Fundamentalist Abu Sayyaf Group To Accompany A Filipino Medical Doctor To See The 21 Captives Who Were Taken To Jolo Island After Muslim Fundamentalist Rebels, Fighting For An Independent Muslim Homeland In The Southern Philippines, Seized Them On April 23, 2000 On The Malaysian Resort Island Of Sipadan. (Photo By Pool/Getty Images)|
|Date created:||02 May 2000|
Malaysian Diving Instructor Ken Tong Left Talks To Reporters At The Kidnappers' Hideout
|Caption:||368893 12: Malaysian Diving Instructor Ken Tong, Left, Talks To Reporters At The Kidnappers' Hideout On Jolo Island In The Southern Philippines May 1, 2000. Three Journalists From International News Organizations Were Allowed By The Fundamentalist Abu Sayyaf Group To Accompany A Filipino Medical Doctor To See The 21 Captives Who Were Taken To Jolo Island After Muslim Fundamentalist Rebels, Fighting For An Independent Muslim Homeland In The Southern Philippines, Seized Them On April 23, 2000 On The Malaysian Resort Island Of Sipadan. (Photo By Pool/Getty Images)|
|Date created:||02 May 2000|
Foreign Hostages Sit In A Shack At A Hideout On Jolo Island In The Southern Philippines M...
|Caption:||368893 06: Foreign Hostages Sit In A Shack At A Hideout On Jolo Island In The Southern Philippines May 1, 2000. Three Journalists From International News Organizations Were Allowed By The Fundamentalist Abu Sayyaf Group To Accompany A Filipino Medical Doctor To See The 21 Captives Who Were Taken To Jolo Island After Muslim Fundamentalist Rebels, Fighting For An Independent Muslim Homeland In The Southern Philippines, Seized Them On April 23, 2000 On The Malaysian Resort Island Of Sipadan. (Photo By Pool/Getty Images)|
|Date created:||02 May 2000|
|Editorial image #:||51091989|
So why do the up-market Judeo-Christian European vacationers allow themselves to go so scruffy by day eight, that by day 34 they look like rejects from an episode of CBS's Survivor? (Which, by the way, in an example of life imitating art, was that spring's United States season #1---Survivor: Pulau Tiga, Borneo, filmed nearby--which was just then becoming a smash sensation.) Was this by some public relations imperative or decree? Maybe if the captors hadn't separated the hostages into two groups---the Malaysians in one hut and the "foreigners" another---but instead designated living conditions on a more seemly (and Islamic) basis of gender, things would have evened out.
And who is this intense young female journalist done up in the Muslim drag which none of the other women wear? I'd be tongue-tied staring her down in an interview, but I suppose she's trying to elevate the visual dynamic here and not elicit the verbal. Whoever stuck that gun in the frame may have only "partly covered" our view of Stephane Loisy but he completely obliterated the interviewee, who was one of two putative objects in the composition. Of course, now we know he's probably just handing it off to Ken Fong as a play toy.
A photo dated 27 May 2000 shows a journa...
|Caption:||JOLO, PHILIPPINES: A photo dated 27 May 2000 shows a journalist (L) interviews a group of European hostages held captive by the al-Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf kidnap gang at the jungle hideout in Jolo island while government negotiator Roberto Aventajado (standing extreme L) and Abu Sayyaf leader Galib Andang alias Commander Robot (standing 3rd from L in yellow shirt) looks on. In his book recently released Aventajado said Germany, Libya and the Philippines paid 11 million US dollars in ransoms in exchange for the freedom of Western hostages abducted in the Malaysian resort island of Sipadan April 2000. The hostages, clockwise from center Werner Wallert from Germany, Seppo Fraenti from Finland, Stephane Loisy from France (partly covered by rifle). Commander Robot was captured 7 Dec 2003. AFP PHOTO ROMEO GACAD (Photo credit should read ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)|
|Date created:||27 May 2000|
But take another look at the caption from the first photograph above, of the Malaysian contingent on May 27:
Malaysian hostages Abdul Jawat Sulawat (2nd from L) and Fong Yin Ken (5th from L) who is behind Filipino hostage Roland Ullah (4th from L in white shirt) and other Malaysian hostages are held at the camp of Abu Sayyaf kidnappers in a jungle hideout in Jolo island southern Philippines. Abdul and Fong testified in Manila court 24 September and identified Galib Andang, known as 'Commander Robot' as the Abu Sayyaf rebel leader who kidnapped 21 people in the Malaysian resort island of Sipadan on 23 April 2000.While it's difficult to be sure of the dating from this source alone, it appears that the September 24th court date was in September 2000, in which case Ken Fong is turning on his friend less than three weeks after his public profession of amity with Robot.
Terror! Captive against their will!
Photo published on Day 33--Next day the pensive photos are to be taken.
In an odd and perhaps significant coincidence, the two men released with Ken Fong---Basilius Jim and Baln Krishnan Nair (apparently a New Strait Times misprint of "Balakrishnan Nair")---had remained unidentified as late as the following Reuters report, time-stamped April 25, at 8:59 a.m. It has been maintained online by The Independent of South Africa and perhaps this represents their local time zone, but in any case, it is somewhere around the 36 hour mark after the abduction (the published reports of which vary by over three hours in the first.) Whatever the mechanism (time-cards? schedules?) that had allowed for "Francis, Zulkarnain" (Zulkarnain Francis?), or alternately "Zulkarnain Hashim" (Hashim
Zulkarnain?) to be recognized as on-duty, absent, and thus abducted, didn't seem to be operative for the other two. Would they have come to their place of work on a social call? Do people just "drop in" on an island setting such as this? Would standard security measures establish, by some control method, who was on the island at any given time or was it laissez faire there at pirate junction ?
Names of the 20 island hostages
Manila - Following is a list of the 20 people captured by gunmen from the Malaysian island resort of Sipadan on Sunday and believed to have been taken to the Philippines.
The list was circulated by the Philippine military.
Tourists: Sonia Wending (F-French), Loisy Stephone (M-French), Marc Walleri (M-German), Werner Gunter Kort (M-German), Renate Juta (F-German), Carel Strydom (M-South African), Monique Strydom (F-South African), Marie Michel (F-Lebanese), Juhani Franti Seppo (F-Finnish), Mirco Jahanen Risto (M-Finnish).
Staff of Sipadan Resort: Louresia Dablo (F-Philippines, married to a Malaysian), Ken Fong Yin Ken, Kua Yu Loong and Vincent Kwong (all Malaysian men).
Malaysian Wildlife Department staff (all Malaysian men): Francis, Zulkarnain and two others unidentified.
Roland Ullah (M-Philippines, staff of Borneo Divers' Club).
Abdul Jawan bin Sulawat (Malaysian police officer).
What I first took to be poor punctuation in the listing of the Malaysian male Sipadan Resort staff names, is in fact correct, as "Ken Fong Yin Ken" is meant to indicate one person--Ken Fong for short. However, f you count, the Reuters list is then only 19 names, with the errant name turning out to be Lee Hock Leong, a Malaysian cook, who some lists name as working for the "Sipadan Dive Centre" and not the "PSR Staff" indicating "Pulau Sipadan Resort" employees. Since the abduction took place in the middle of the dinner hour I think it's safe to say Lee was doing the cooking and it is splitting hairs to make such contractual distinctions.
But since the Filipino diving instructor Rolland Ullah, was said to work for the "Borneo Divers Club," while Ken Fong Yin Ken ( described as a "Malaysianno," which seems to be some distinction from a "Malaysian") was said to work for the Pulau Sipadan Resort, I think there is some monkey business in this muddy water.
In fact, I know it. This pattern of trouble in getting the simple newsworthy facts across in a timely manner is one I have seen time and again in other staged, false-flag, synthetic, or otherwise deeply penetrated events, such as September 11th, and it is no surprise that the connections between this precursor event and the climactic terror to follow don't include Muslims.
An article in the June 24, 2000, Sabah Daily Express, Keep their jobs open, by Chris Maskilone, clears things up in a fashion. It turns out there were four wildlife officers: Zulkarnain Hashim, Francis Masungkim, Basilius Jim and Bala Krishan Nair. Reuters was just giving out two first names, properly punctuated, This brings us up to 20, as advertised, however, there were supposed to be 21.
I owe a debt of gratitude to an unknown source who constructed the following list, to which I lost the link, the images, and the hhtml. But by its non-functioning detail links I can still see that it was a Bernama source originally, and I think it was a commenter there who had paid such close compassionate attention that it was constructed. In it I can see the stage where Balakrishnan Nair had been identified as a Wildlife Department employee with Francis "Masungkim," (rather than "Zulkarnain") but Basilius Jim had not yet been identified.
This, and another list at .e-borneo empowered me to arrive at my conclusions, and, assuming they come from Muslim sources, I tip my hat to you, if that's the right way to put it.
11 LOCAL EMPLOYEE HOSTAGES
Sadly, the international media has only focused on the caucasian hostages and I have been unable to get named photographs of the other victims...
Vincent Kwong Malaysianno details P
Abdul Jawan Sulawat Malaysian details Abdul Jawat Sulawat
Ken Fong Yin Ken Malaysianno details
Kua Yu Loong Malaysian no details
Zulkarnain Hashim Malaysian details
Balakrishnan Nair Malaysian details
Francis Masungkim Malaysian details
XX Malaysianno details
Lee Hock Leong Malaysian details
Cook, Sipadan Dive Centre
Rolland Ullah Filippino details
Borneo Divers Club Staff
Louresia Dablo Filippina no details
Unidentified Hostages: a mix and match puzzle
1. Sonia Wendling (French)
2. Stephane Loisy (French)
3. Marc Wallert (German)
4. Werner G. Cort (German)
5. Renate Wallert (German)
6. Carel Strydom (S. African)
7. Monique Strydom (S. African)
8. Marie Michel (Lebanese)
9. Johan F. Seppo (Finnish)
10. Mirco J. Rista (Finnish)
11. Laurecia Dablo (Filipina)
12. Roland Ullah (Filipino)
13. Ken Fong Yin Ken (M'sian)
14. Kua Yu Loong (M'sian)
15. Vincent Kwong (M'sian)
16. Francis Masungkim (M'sian)
17. Zulkamain Hashim (M'sian)
18. Abd. Jawan S. (M'sian)
19. Lee Hock Leong (M'sian)
20. Bala Krishnan Nair (M'sian)
21. Basilius Jim (M'sian)
June 24, 2000, Sabah Daily Express, Keep their jobs open, by Chris Maskilone,
KOTA KINABALU: Employers of the nine Malaysians being held hostage by Abu Sayyaf on Jolo in Southern Philippines for the past two months have been urged to leave their jobs open, in anticipation of their safe return.
Making the call here Friday, Federal Human Resource Minister Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn said the Social Security Organisation (Socso) should also view the situation with an open mind and consider assistance to the affected groups.
Fong said this Friday when asked to comment on the stand of the employers, particurlarly in the private sector, pertaining to the absence of their workers who are now being confined in a rebel hideout.
"My advice to them is that they continue paying their workers salaries and keep their jobs open because they are trapped in a situation beyond their control," Fong said.
He also urged them to consider extending other forms of humanitarian assistance from the Labour Department.
"We want to ensure they are well taken care of in the absence of the breadwinners," he said.
The incident unfolded on April 23 when six men armed with AK-47 assault rifles and a rocket launcher raided Pulau Sipadan and whisked away 21 people, including 11 foreign tourists at gunpoint.
The local employees are Ken Fong Yin Ken, Kua Yu Loong and Vincent Kwong, Louresia Dablo (married to a Malaysian) who are attached to Pulau Sipadan Resort, Rolland Ullah a Borneo Divers staff and Sipadan Dive Centre's Lee Hock Leong.
It is understood that the relevant Government agencies have continued paying the salaries of police lance corporal Abdul Jawan Sulamat and four wildlife officers Zulkarnain Hashim, Francis Masungkim, Basilius Jim and Bala Krishan Nair.
Questioned on the possibility of Socso paying compensation in the event the hostages ran foul of the negotiations, Fong said "everyone is hoping for the safe release of the hostages and Socso will have to view the situation liberally".