Kidnappers Abu Sayyaf have allowed a Malaysian hostage to send a message for help to the Malaysian government, The Star reported today.
The English daily has been in contact with the Filipino group, who are holding five Malaysian hostages kidnapped on July 18, in Jolo island.
In an exclusive report, The Star said Abu Sayyaf spokesperson Abu Rami called the daily and allowed hostage Mohd Ridzuan Ismail, 32, to speak for about eight minutes.
“We can’t bear it any more. We are in pain. All of us are sick.
"We have cuts on our bodies. We are weak. No food to eat. What’s more, we are beaten.
"There are people who want to shoot us. Please help us,” The Star reported the hostage saying.
"I’m asking for help from the (Malaysian) government and my boss to rescue us as soon as possible,” the captive sailor told the daily.
“We’re suffering in Jolo island," he said.
A day earlier, Abu Rami told The Star they want 100 million pesos (RM8.5 million) for the release of the Malaysians.
According to the report, the hostages are not faring well and fear for their lives.
They report being badly treated and receiving death threats.
On July 19, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he believes kidnap-for-ransom groups based in southern Philippines were responsible for the kidnapping.
Kidnappings off the coast of Sabah, which borders southern Philippines, continues unabated.
On Sept 16, Abu Sayyaf freed three Indonesian fishermen who were kidnapped on July 9 about 3.6 nautical miles from Kampung Sinakut, near Lahad Datu.
Sept 10 saw yet another kidnapping, in which three Filipino fishermen were abducted by seven armed men in the waters off Pulau Pom-Pom, Semporna.