SEMPORNA - Police have claimed that kidnapped tourist Chang An Wei was not the sole target of her abductors because of her links to Taiwan's First Lady.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said yesterday that news reports making such implications were not true, adding that they are working with Taiwanese police and keeping each other updated on the case.
Taiwanese media reported that 58-year-old Chang was a former schoolmate of Christine Chow Mei-ching, wife of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou.
On claims that ransom calls had been made to Chang's family in Taiwan, Hamza said the family had not received any call from the abductors and this was confirmed by their Taiwanese counterparts.
Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order Director Datuk Salleh Mat Rasid revealed that police would launch a massive integrated operation to hunt for the abductors' local collaborators.
Meanwhile, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said at Bukit Aman in Kuala Lumpur that police would not divulge any information on Chang to the media for her own safety.
"We are doing everything in our power to rescue the woman. We are in close contact with our counterparts in the Philippines to resolve the situation as soon as possible," he said.
He said the abductors involved in the incident were terrorists but declined to say if the group was the same one that captured two Malaysian cousins, Tung Wei Jie and Tung Wei Fei from a plantation in Lahad Datu on Nov 13 last year.
Wee Jie escaped in August and was rescued by Philippine police, who said Wei Fei had died from an illness.