LAHAD DATU - The last words of fish farm operator Chan Sai Chuin (above left) as he was taken away by four Filipino gunmen will forever ring in his wife's mind.
Chin Pek Nyen (above right), 42, said she heard him tell the gunmen in Malay: "Don't disturb them (my family), I will follow you."
During the incident, which took place almost 45 minutes after midnight yesterday, Chin said they were sleeping at their farm in the waters off Kg Sapang, Kunak, when they were suddenly awoken by the sounds of barking dogs.
"My husband quickly went to check," she said.
"Then, I saw two men aiming the gun at his abdomen. I immediately rushed back into our room," she said.
The couple had just relocated from Ipoh in April to start the aquaculture venture.
Chin said she could not really hear much of what the gunmen said.
"They must have understood Bahasa Malaysia for they did not come for me when my husband appealed to them," she told reporters at the fish farm.
Although the men knocked hard on the room door several times, Chin ignored them.
"I refused to open the door. My two-year-old daughter was also sleeping in the room," she said, adding that she did not come out until she heard the boat leave the area.
"I came out only after 15 minutes," said Chin, adding that she contacted her husband's partner, Khoo Mun Huah, in Kunak town, informing him that her husband had been abducted.
Khoo, 57, said he was informed that one of the workers was also taken hostage.
"However, he turned up at the farm at around 9am.
"He claimed that he managed to dive into the sea and hide till he was found," Khoo said.