Beheaded Malaysian hostage Bernard Then's family seeks PM's help

PETALING JAYA - The family of deceased Malaysian Bernard Then Ted Fen is appealing to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to help expedite the process of identifying and bringing home the remains.

"We were not informed by the authorities that they found the body," Then's brother Christopher Then Ted Loong told The Star on Tuesday night.

"My family is very depressed and we appeal to our PM to help expedite the process of identifying and repatriating Bernard's remains to my family," added Christopher.

A headless body believed to be that of the slain Then was recovered in Jolo Island on Monday and sent to Zamboanga City for identification.

"It has been four weeks since Bernard was reportedly killed in southern Philippines. Every time there is news regarding this case, it opens up our wounds and it hurts so much.

"We cannot even begin the healing process without this closure," said Christopher.

Christopher said that his family had not paid any money for the release of Then's remains and were not involved in the recovery of the body.

Then was beheaded by Abu Sayyaf terrorist at about 4pm on Nov 17 in the island of Jolo.

His severed head was found near a municipal council building in Jolo island later that day.

Malaysian negotiators with the help of Filipino emissaries had worked round the clock to secure the release of the 39-year-old engineer after he was kidnapped from the Ocean King seafood restaurant Sandakan on May 15 along with manager of the restaurant Thien Nyuk Fun, 50.

Thien was released on Nov 8 after an alleged payment of about RM3 million (S$978,000) was made.