Singaporean hikers still missing in Johor mountain
There is still no sign of the two Singaporean hikers missing in Malaysia since Monday.
On Facebook, friends said Ms Lum Jie, also known as Clarice, and Mr Dominick Tan Chang Xiang, both 27, have been uncontactable.
Malaysian news agency Bernama reported the couple had been missing since 5.55pm on Monday, in Gunung Pulai, a mountain in Malaysia's Kulai district in Johor.
Kulai is about an hour north of Johor Baru by car.
The Malaysian authorities have combed an area on the mountain to search for them, basing the search on the duo's last reported location from a phone signal, The Straits Times reported.
The search team was beefed up to almost 100 people yesterday, from 60 on Tuesday.
"We detected their location from the last phone call made and asked them not to move, to remain in the area," Kulai district police chief, Superintendent Dzulkhairi Mokhtar, said.
Police last contacted them on Monday at 10pm, when the duo were believed to have been about 1.5km from the foothill.
Police said the current search area is 36 sq km, and they have cordoned off the vicinity where the duo was last traced.
Reports said police believe the hikers may have got lost because they did not use the route usually taken by climbers.
Johor police chief Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd said this is the first time people have been reported missing in the Gunung Pulai Forest Reserve for more than 48 hours.
At the search and rescue operations centre there, he told reporters: "So far, we have found no signs. We have ruled out any element of crime."
Ms Dhereza Abdul Hamid, 39, contact officer of volunteer team Mountain Search and Rescue Society Malaysia, is leading a group of 14 in the search.
She told The New Paper the mountain is popular with climbers and the search groups include one from Singapore called Thousand Adventure.
She said: "Hikers have been lost on the mountain before but only for two to five hours. There are many signs along the way, and it takes about three hours to reach the peak. "
Mr Tan was last seen in a black shirt and Ms Lum in a green top.
A friend of Mr Tan described him as a good person. He used to be in the aerospace club in Republic Polytechnic.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: "The Singapore Consulate-General in Johor Baru is in contact with local authorities coordinating the search operations.
"Officials from the Consulate-General are in the Gunung Pulai area to assist the affected Singaporean families."