KUALA LUMPUR: A career change is on the cards now for Mohd Nazaruddin Saidin who was recently released after being kidnapped in the Philippines about a year ago.
He was with a friend in Jolo island looking for exotic geckos, which fetch a high price in the black market, when he was abducted by 10 gunmen believed to be from the Abu Sayyaf group while asleep in a house there on May 8 last year.
Mohd Nazaruddin's release was secured by Kelab Putera 1Malaysia which held a press conference at its headquarters in Kampung Attap following his arrival yesterday morning.
He said he would not go back to his "old job" and would find a suitable one to feed his family of six.
"I hope Malaysians will not follow my example and I will take this as a lesson for future undertakings."
Mohd Nazaruddin said he only felt safe after arriving in Sandakan, Sabah, on Sunday at about 6am after leaving Jolo at about 9pm on Saturday by boat and with the help of several villagers.
"I never thought I would see my family again, especially my children. My children were always in my thoughts when I was in Jolo."
His children, aged five to 16, along with wife Mazlina Mohamed, 39, and his parents were present at the Press conference.
Mohd Nazaruddin said his captors treated him well despite several escape attempts.
"They give me enough food and I sometimes helped them with agricultural works."
He said he had also seen a Malaysian and Indian national being held hostage in the unidentified village where he was held just before his release. The other two captives were kept in separate houses.
Kelab Putera 1Malaysia president Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim said they did not pay a ransom to the abductors.
"We never had any discussions on their demand but we are thankful they respected our country by releasing Nazaruddin."
This was the club's first time attempting to rescue an abduction victim there.
It was reported the group had initially demanded 80 million pesos (RM5.6 million) for Mohd Nazaruddin's release but reduced it to eight million pesos.