Malaysian woman allegedly missing in Thailand says she's 'safe and healthy' in videos; netizens doubt authenticity
CHIANG RAI (Thailand) — A woman, believed to be a Malaysian who allegedly went missing in Thailand last Friday (June 2), has appeared in three online videos to prove that she is “safe and healthy” — though netizens have expressed doubts about their authenticity.
- A Malaysian woman who allegedly went missing in Thailand on June 2 has appeared in three online videos to say that she is “safe and healthy”
- Ms Angie Chong Sum Yee, 22, had travelled to Chiang Mai alone on May 29
- Her family fears she may have crossed the Thai border into Myanmar
- According to media reports, three videos of a woman believed to be Ms Chong were posted on Facebook by a user named “Moe Aye”
- Netizens have expressed doubt over the videos’ authenticity, saying the woman appeared like she had been forced to record them
CHIANG RAI (Thailand) — A woman, believed to be a Malaysian who allegedly went missing in Thailand last Friday (June 2), has appeared in three online videos to say that she is “safe and healthy” — though netizens have expressed doubts about their authenticity.
Malaysian news agency Bernama on Wednesday reported that the woman, Ms Angie Chong Sum Yee, 22, had flown to Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand, alone on May 29.
Ms Chong’s mother, Ms Chee Choy Wen, was quoted in a Bangkok Post report on Monday as saying her daughter had sent pictures she took of various places in Chiang Mai and neighbouring Chiang Rai.
Ms Chong last sent her family pictures taken on June 1 during a visit to Mae Sai town in Chiang Rai, which is close to Myanmar’s Tachilek town.
Her mother, who was unable to contact her after, feared her daughter may have crossed into Myanmar and was in danger.
She published a Facebook post on June 2 appealing for more information.
Myanmar officials were reportedly asked to review security footage to see if Ms Chong had crossed Thailand’s border into Tachilek, where there are many large casinos and business complexes.
Incidents of human trafficking had previously been reported in Tachilek.
MET 'WHITE-CLAD' WOMAN AT HOTEL
Separately, a Bangkok Post report on Wednesday, citing official sources, said that Ms Chong had gone to a river pier in Mae Sai before her family lost contact with her.
The sources said Ms Chong checked into a hotel near the Mae Sai border checkpoint on May 29.
The following day, she rode on a motorcycle towards the border with Myanmar’s Tachilek town.
Ms Chong was seen in surveillance camera footage sitting in the lobby of the hotel. A white-clad woman greeted her in a friendly manner and they both walked out of the hotel, the report stated.
She was seen riding pillion on a motorcycle towards the border.
Officials had found the motorcyclist, who said that Ms Chong paid her 500 baht (S$19) to go to the pier. She did not know if the Malaysian woman crossed the border.
The signal from the missing woman’s mobile phone disappeared at the border.
Thai officials said she might have entered Myanmar using an unofficial border crossing point, the report said.
VIDEOS APPEAR 'FORCED': NETIZENS
According to The Malay Mail on Wednesday, three videos of a woman, believed to be Ms Chong, were posted by a Facebook user named “Moe Aye” in the comment section of her mother’s original post appealing for information.
All three videos, which featured the woman with a smiling face, were believed to have been recorded from another phone.
In two of the videos, the long-haired woman repeatedly stated in Mandarin that she was safe and healthy. She also pleaded with the police to stop bothering the motorist who had supposedly taken her there, as she did not know anything about her situation.
In one of the videos, which was 23 seconds long, the woman, clad in a dark-coloured shirt, said: “Hello, I am currently working here and am safe. Please do not worry about me.”
In another 33-second clip, she repeated again that she was fine, healthy and not beaten.
“Friends, family members and netizens, please don’t worry. Bye bye, I am going to eat now,” the woman was reported to have said in the video, where a bowl of food was also visible.
In the third video, the woman stood at a merchandise counter and made a peace sign.
As of 12pm on Friday, TODAY was unable to verify the content of the three videos, which appear to have been removed from the Facebook post’s comment section.
One of the three videos was later reposted by another Facebook user named “Jason Wong”.
The videos sparked a debate among netizens, who expressed doubt and scepticism, The Malay Mail reported.
Netizens pointed out that Ms Chong’s uneasy expression and pauses when speaking seemed to indicate that she was forced to record the videos.
They also questioned why Ms Chong had not called her mother directly, instead of posting the videos via an unknown account.
Ms Chong’s mother, Ms Chee, arrived in Mae Sai on Wednesday, accompanied by a translator. Ms Chee met the police to provide information and documents in hopes of finding her daughter, The Malay Mail reported.
According to the Bangkok Post, Ms Chee had allegedly received a message from Ms Chong via the Line messaging app, telling her not to worry.
Ms Chee said she suspects that the message had been written by someone else, as she has not received other messages from her daughter since.
Ms Chee is reportedly staying at a hotel in Mae Sai to wait for news about her daughter. AGENCIES