KOTA KINABALU: “I can only pray for his and the others’ freedom,” said Rosmiati Abdul Rahim wept and shook when she saw a picture of her father being held captive in the jungles of Jolo by Abu Sayyaf gunmen.
The 39-year-old said, “We are helpless. We don’t have the money nor the means to help get them home safely.”
Her father, Abd Rahim Summas, 62, was among five Malaysian sailors who have been in the clutches of the gunmen since they were grabbed from a tugboat in Lahad Datu waters on July 18.
The other four hostages are her uncle Tayudin Anjut, 45, her nephew Mohd Zumadil Rahim, 23, her cousin Fandy Bakran, 26, and Mohd Ridzuan Ismail, 32.
Rosmiati, whose family is based in Tawau, said her father was a tough sailor but had medical problems.
“He may not be able to take such harsh conditions any longer,” the housewife was quoted as saying in the Star.
The photograph of her father, which appeared in the media, was released by Abu Sayyaf spokesman Abu Rami.
Last week, Abu Rami arranged for a phone call between Mohd Ridzuan and The Star in which the hostage sent out a plea for help, saying that the captives had little food and suffered beatings.
The kidnappers are seeking 100 million pesos (RM8.5mil) for the release of the sailors.
Rosmiati’s cousin, Hariyanti Samsih, is married to Mohd Ridzuan.
Hariyanti, 31, said her husband became the designated person to communicate with their families.
The kidnappers, she said, would make contact several times in a month.
“The last call I received from my husband was last Monday. He asked me to tell his boss to get help as soon as possible because they are suffering there,” said Hariyanti.
“I can’t do anything. We are poor,” she said.
She said their two children, aged five and three were always asking for their father. The couple also have a five-month-old child.
“I would just say that he is away at work,” she said.
Hasmiah Lahap, 50, the mother of Fandy Bakran, said she and other relatives would pray together everyday for the safe return of the hostages.
“We just want them back safely as soon as possible. But we don’t have money for the kidnappers. I hope the Government can help us,” she added.