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Don’t use kidnap victims for your politics: Zahid to DAP

JULAU: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has advised political parties against politicising the recent kidnapping of four Malaysian sailors during the campaigning season in Sarawak.

Zahid said he was made to understand that the family members of the four men, who were kidnapped by Filipino militants last month, had attended several ‘ceramah’ hosted by DAP in Sarawak.

“The kidnapping is not a political issue; it is a security and humanitarian issue. I don’t want any political party taking advantage of the situation.”

It is understood that the family members of those kidnapped had attended the political rallies to collect donations from the public in order to pay the RM2 million ransom demanded by the militants.

“This gives out the wrong impression… it is as if the police is not working (towards securing the sailors’ release).

“The way DAP uses these families as political capital is very unwelcome,” he told reporters after a gathering with Rela members at Margretta longhouse here today.

The four sailors were kidnapped off a cargo ship passing close to the southern Philippines on April 1. Eight armed men in a speedboat stopped the cargo ship, the Masfive 6, near Ligitan, a small island off the eastern coast of Sabah.

Zahid, who is also Home Minister, warned that the act of politicising the recent kidnapping could jeopardise efforts to secure the sailors’ release.

He also said political parties should leave the matter to the authorities and not get involved. “The way DAP capitalises on the plight of the families will undermine negotiation efforts.

If the kidnappers feel pressured and decide not to release the four victims, DAP must be held responsible,” he said.

On the veracity of RM2 million ransom demanded by the kidnappers, Zahid declined to confirm the amount.-nst

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