SINGAPORE: The son of a Singaporean man who went missing while kayaking in Malaysia on Thursday (Aug 15) urged authorities to maintain the search effort for his father.
Mr Jeremy Tan's father, Tan Eng Soon, 62, went missing along with Singaporean Ms Puah Geok Tin, 57, last Thursday.
The two were separated from their group while kayaking near the Endau islands.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Tan's son thanked the authorities and urged local residents to keep a lookout for his father.
"So far up to this point, we are very grateful for all the help and support by the MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), by the Malaysia maritime police department. We hope that in the coming days, they can continue to maintain the search effort as my father is still missing," he said.
"We would also like to reach out to all the local fishermen or any of the locals who might be out at sea over the next few days. We ask that they please keep a lookout for him as well, because they have been instrumental in the search thus far," he said.
His comments come a day after a woman's body was found in waters off Kemaman, Terengganu by local fishermen.
Ms Puah's family confirmed on Thursday that the body was Ms Puah's and said that arrangements were being made to bring her remains back to Singapore.
"It is hard for us, but at the same time we are relieved that we could give her proper last respects,” her son, Mr Louis Pang, told reporters at Kemaman Hospital.
READ: More aircraft, rescuers deployed in search for Singaporean kayakers missing off Mersing, Johor
The kayak belonging to the two Singaporeans was found on Tuesday in Kuantan, about 80 nautical miles from where Mr Tan and Ms Puah were reported missing.
In addition to the kayak, other items found included Mr Tan's passport, two purses with Malaysian and Singapore currency, a mobile phone, a bag of clothes, an identity card and a paddle, the agency said.
READ: Kayak belonging to missing Singaporeans found as search operations enter fifth day in Malaysia
On Thursday, Malaysian authorities extended the search area to Kerteh waters, combing a sector of almost 500 nautical square miles.
Thirty-two people are involved in the search and rescue operation, according to Haris Fadzillah Abdullah, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Mersing zone chief maritime commander.
“The SAR (search and rescue) operation began at 8am today with a strength of 32 personnel from various agencies, as the search area has been narrowed down and focused on the probability that the victims could be between where the kayaks were found off Kuantan waters and the location where the body of a female was found in Kuala Kemaman," he said.
“Air assets are no more needed as the search is now focused on the 500 nautical square mile area."