SANDAKAN, Malaysia - Families of the two Malaysians kidnapped by Filipino gunmen are praying for their safe return as they wait for ransom calls.
Hoping that the victims will remain unhurt, the families are cooperating closely with the police.
The authorities are still searching Malaysian waters for the gunmen's boat although some believe that the kidnappers may have already crossed into southern Philippines with their captives.
Ocean King Seafood Restaurant manager Thien Nyuk Fun, 50, and Sarawakian engineer Bernard Then Ted Fen, 39, were grabbed by the gunmen during a raid on the restaurant on Thursday evening.
Thien is a widow with two sons, Chung Chi Lung, 31, and Chung Chu Vui, 26, who are helping to run the restaurant with an uncle.
Bernard is a Sarawakian based in Kuala Lumpur but working in Cambodia. He had just arrived for a three-day holiday in Sandakan with his wife Chan Wai See, 40.
The couple had gone for a seafood dinner at the restaurant with a Sabah friend, Chia Chui Foon, 37, when the gunmen raided it.
It is learned that Bernard's wife Chan was badly shaken up by the incident and is being cared for by a friend as they wait for word from the kidnappers.
In a telephone interview, Thien's daughter-in-law who wanted to be identified only as Mrs Chung, said that they were praying for her safe return.
Mrs Chung said her husband and brother-in-law were having dinner with Thien and a friend when the gunmen struck.
Police said that there have been no calls from the kidnappers so far.