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Government not considering military action to rescue hostages

PUTRAJAYA, 9 Sept 2008: The government is not considering military action to rescue the crew members of the two MISC Bhd vessels held hostage by pirates in the Gulf of Aden, in the waters of Somalia and Yemen if the situation worsens.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the goverment was optimistic that it could find a solution to rescue them.

The hostages were currently safe, he said when asked by reporters whether military action would be used to rescue the hostages.

The two ships with 65 Malaysian and nine Filipino crew members on board were hijacked on 19 and 29 Aug 2008.

Najib said he was getting daily reports on the situation but could not reveal any details as yet.

"We cannot reveal the efforts that we are making to the public because in this ICT (information communication technology) era the pirates there will get to know about them. They are also monitoring what we do here.

"We don’t want to compromise the safety of the crew of the two MISC ships. So, we will only announce our move when it is successful," he said.

On the 41 members of the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) who left on an agricultural study tour to Taiwan yesterday, Najib said the trip was borne by the BNBBC and not the government.

Therefore, they could do whatever they liked as long as it was something productive, he said, adding that there was nothing wrong with such a trip. – Bernama

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