KUALA LUMPUR - Chinese Gao Huayun has reunited with her family and relatives in Shanghai just in time for the Rice Dumpling Festival after being held captive by kidnappers in Jolo for almost two months.
The Chinese Embassy here confirmed that Gao was on board the five-hour flight to Shanghai yesterday.
"I am happy knowing that she will be back to celebrate the festival with her family members," said an embassy spokesman, who also thanked the Malaysian authorities for their help in securing Gao's release.
The festival, which is celebrated tomorrow, is also known as the Duanwu Festival or Dragon Boat Festival. It is a public holiday in China.
Sources reported that both the 29-year-old Gao and Filipina hotel worker Marcy Dayawan @ Mimi, 40, who was also released, were flown with an escort of Bukit Aman security personnel from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur at 6am yesterday.
Gao then took a connecting flight to Shanghai at 9am.
In Kota Kinabalu, Malaysian authorities have decided to hand over Mimi to their counterparts in Manila.
Philippines Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said she might be handed over by today, if not sooner.
"The Malaysian police attaché handling the case will escort her back to the Philippines," he said in a statement.