Malaysia-China relationship will remain strong, says Liow

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A Chinese tourist and a Philippine hotel worker were abducted by armed men at the Singamata Reef Resort on April 2.

KUALA LUMPUR - Ties between Malaysia and China remain strong despite the kidnapping incident in Sabah, said MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

"I think it's a double blow with MH370...but both countries will cooperate to solve problems. We need to ensure that tourists are safe," he added.

Liow expressed anger and sadness over Wednesday's abduction of a 29-year-old Chinese national and a 40-year-old Filipino resort worker from a resort off Semporna.

"We have asked for a detailed report and hope that the security in the coastal areas of Sabah will be further enhanced," Liow said yesterday after a memorial service at a cemetery here to remember those killed during the Japanese occupation.

A detailed report, said Liow, was needed as there were regular patrols at resorts including by armed personnel, especially after the Lahad Datu intrusion and the abduction of a Taiwanese tourist last year.

He said the kidnapping of the two did not reflect the entire tourism situation in the country, adding that Malaysia was generally a safe place to visit.

China's ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang, who also attended the memorial event, said the safety of the two victims were of paramount importance.

"There has been no ransom demand so far. This is a separate issue from MH370. We hope the Malaysian Government will enhance the security measures and solve this soon," he added.

Separately, the Philippine embassy here said in a statement yesterday that the Philippine authorities, especially the police maritime units and anti-kidnapping operatives, were closely coordinating search and rescue work with their Malaysian counterparts.

As for the identity of the resort worker, the embassy said her name would not be released until her next of kin have been notified.

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