Missing S'pore man may have drowned, say Malaysia police

He may be 83 but family members said Singaporean Tan Kim Cheng is an adventurous traveller.

But on a recent trip to Malaysia, he went missing.

Nobody has seen him since he went for a walk after leaving a cruise ship which berthed at Tioman Island on Monday at about 2pm.

"The crew realised he was missing when he did not return to the ship on time," Rompin district police chief Johari Jahaya was reported by Bernama as saying.

"The crew lodged a report at the Pulau Tioman police station before a search operation found the victim's dark blue backpack with 'China Express' inscribed on it."

Other items such as camera batteries, a camera unit with Lumix brand gloves, an Optical Gemini binoculars, a padlock with a key, a set of keys, a Princess Cruises pen and a bottle of mineral water were also found at the scene.

Mr Johari said initial investigations showed that a tourist had told the ship's crew the victim was seen walking alone towards Kampung Paya about 2pm that day.

When contacted, Tioman police chief, Sergeant Awang Fatiah Haji Zulkifli, said Mr Tan's backpack was found near the waters of a beach, about a 20-minute walk from the Berjaya Tioman Resort jetty where tourists had gathered after leaving the ship.

He told The New Paper on Sunday in Malay: "That was the spot where we suspected he had gone missing or drowned."


Search-and-rescue operations have been going on since Monday, said Sgt Awang Fatiah.

About 50 officers and a helicopter from the Rompin Fire and Rescue Department, Royal Malaysian Police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and Malaysia Civil Defence Department are involved in the search, he said.

"We have also roped in fishermen to alert us if they find anything. The search area is like the main road for boats from the various villages."

Mr Tan's family members had been to the site to look at the incident spot and also to view his belongings.

This article was first published on Apr 19, 2015.
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