TSUNAMI FURY: No news yet on 160 Malaysians
New Straits Times[Friday, December 31, 2004 20:09]
KUALA LUMPUR, December 28 - The fate of 160 Malaysians is still uncertain.
The families of the 54 Malaysians en route to Chennai, India, on a pilgrimage are still praying for the safety of their loved ones.

The group, led by Rev Bhagya Jayavanthi and Tsem Rinpoche, had stopped over in Colombo over the weekend, and so far there is no news of their whereabouts.

The beach front resort where they stayed while awaiting their connecting flight was struck by the tidal waves.

It is also yet to be confirmed whether the 15 Malaysians who spent their Christmas weekend in Phuket had been found. One of those who could not be located is Tengku Sakinah Tengku Badlishah, believed to be a member of the Kedah royal family.

She and her family, whose number could not be immediately ascertained, were last known to be staying at the Patong Hotel, on Patong beach.

Today, Malaysia's deputy commissioner based in Chennai, India, Rosli Ismail said that 60 of the 120 Malaysians registered with them have yet to be traced.

He also believes there might be many more Malaysians visiting Tamil Nadu who may also have gone missing. In Medan, Malaysian consul-general Mohamed Yusof Abu Bakar said they were still awaiting news of 22 Malaysian students in Aceh as all communication systems were down and transportation to the island was difficult. Also on the missing list are couple Arthimulam Velu, 60, and wife Thanalakshmi Kuppusamy who are believed to be trapped on the Indian Andaman Island.

Reports also have it that two dive leaders, Janie Chua and Stanley Lim, have been found but still missing are their friends Gerald Keet, Jack Lim, Geoff Frost, Adam Frost, Stephen Allemande and Tehran Rassool. They were said to be in Thailand and the Maldives.

Also found alive were two diving instructors Rushdi Ismail in Phi Phi Island and Azman Sulaiman at Lumba Diving Centre, Sabang in Pulau Weh, Aceh.

In the Maldives, three Malaysians initially listed to be missing have contacted the authorities.

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