Family of missing Australian say thanks to Malaysians


PETALING JAYA: Family members of Andrew Gaskell, an Australian backpacker missing in Sarawak, have thanked Malaysians and local authorities for efforts to find him.

The Australian Broadcasting Commission said Gaskell’s family had sent a written statement to express gratitude for the support they have received from local authorities and the public.

“We wish to pass on our sincere thanks for the support at home and in Malaysia that we have received during what is a difficult time for our family. We also want to express our deep gratitude for the professional efforts of the local search teams who are going to great lengths to make sure everything possible is being done,” they said.

Gaskell, an engineer from Tasmania, has been missing since Oct 20 at Mulu National Park.

A search team has been beefed up from 22 to 34 members and the search area broadened to include two caves and the Mulu summit.

Gaskell’s family also expressed gratitude for the efforts of local people in Bengog, Kampung Nyegol, a village which was visited by Gaskell.

“Some of the locals have travelled to Mulu National Park to help with the search, and we cannot thank them enough. The Malaysian people who have shown great support and helped raise awareness of the situation.”

The family said that they were overwhelmed by the ‘kindness and generosity of spirit’ of Malaysians who had assisted in the search. “We also encourage people to continue to use social media to share posts in an effort to help find Andrew,” they said.