Malaysian boat carrying 31 Chinese tourists goes missing
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Malaysian boat carrying 31 Chinese tourists goes missing

A boat carrying 31 people, including 28 Chinese tourists, has gone missing in the waters off Borneo island, according to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

“The owner of the boat reported it missing on Saturday evening and we have begun a search and rescue mission,” Awil Kamsari, a spokesman from the agency said.

Boat was on its way to Pulau Mengalum, an island known for its pristine beaches and dive sites, west of Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah state.

A statement by China’s foreign ministry said “around 20” Chinese tourists were on the boat, while state television reported that its consulate in Sabah had confirmed that at least 18 Chinese nationals were on board.

Malaysia navy chief Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin tweeted that it was “so sad as it happened on Chinese New Year“ and said navy ships and a C130 aircraft were onsite for the search and rescue operation.
 
“I, like all the relatives of those on board, am hoping for progress in the search and rescue operation,” Sabah’s Tourism Minister Masidi Manjun told AFP.
 
“Our forces are trying their best.”
 
However, bad weather conditions were hampering on-going search efforts, authorities said.
 
China’s foreign ministry said that its consulate general in Kota Kinabalu had contacted Malaysian authorities and urged them to do all that they could to rescue the tourists. 

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