Family of missing catamaran crew still hopeful, hopes search operation will continue

AARON LEE

Photos by Mohd Adam Arinin


KOTA KINABALU: Family of missing capsized catamaran crew member, Absoy Kassim, remains hopeful that the search and rescue team would be able to find him as well as the remaining missing passengers.

Father Kasim Gayang, 50, said the family has never lost hope and until Absoy’s body is found, he will continue to believe that his son is missing.

“It is our hope that the relevant authorities continue their operation to search for the missing five – dead or alive. It will be difficult for us to move on but we will persevere.

“We are also grateful to all quarters who have shown their concern and provided their support to us in times of difficulty. No words can express how thankful we are,” he told reporters.

Today, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and Sabah Small and Medium Women Entrepreneurs Association (IKSnita Saba), a non-governmental organisation, made a modest donation to Absoy’s family in Sembulan Lama, here.

The donation came in the form of money, rice, cooking oil, and cookies, among others.

IKSnita Sabah president Dayang Khatijah Datu Bachtiyal said the contribution was part of the company’s social responsibility in helping those in difficult situation.

“As a woman, we understand what Ani Tembuyong (Absoy’s mother) is going through. No one can understand how it feels like for a mother to continue waiting for her missing son (to return), 70 days since the fatal incident.

“We hope our small donation may help ease the family’s burden and give some encouragement to the family,” she said.

Absoy is among five people missing after a catamaran carrying 28 Chinese tourists and three crewmen capsized about an hour after leaving the Tanjung Aru jetty for Pulau Mengalum on Jan 28.

In the incident, 22 people were rescued while four were killed.