Amount ridiculous, say China netizens

Amount ridiculous, say China netizens

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - Netizens in China are incredulous that the kidnappers of Gao Huayun are demanding a RM36.4million (S$14.1 million) ransom for her release.

Some said the amount was "ridiculous" on Weibo, China's version of Twitter.

"Are they out of their minds?" said another netizen. Yet another said the ransom could pay for 20 Lamborghinis and chided the kidnappers for being unreasonable.

One person who claimed to be Gao's former college teacher posted a message saying that some students were donating money.

"We'll raise the funds to rescue you," he said.

Gao, 29, was an automation engineering student at the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology.

She had turned 29 on Tuesday as a captive of militants believed to be linked to the Abu Sayyaf, labelled a terrorist group by the United States.

Several Chinese news media have claimed that there is a gag order on state-owned press over any coverage of Gao's kidnapping.

This is to apparently ensure that any ongoing negotiation between the kidnappers and relevant parties are not affected, they said.

"My boss doesn't allow us to report about this subject anymore," said an employee of a Chinese TV station.

A source close to the Chinese media said reporters had contacted Gao's family and travel companion in Malaysia but none of them were willing to be interviewed.

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