KOTA KINABALU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A suspected car thief drove off a vehicle with a three-year-old boy sleeping on board when his father left the vehicle to use the toilet at a petrol kiosk.
There has been no word or calls since the toddler, Low Meng Yew (also known as Liu Mingyou), went missing early on Friday.
A special taskforce continued to investigate his whereabouts while they stepped up checks on all air and sea exit points from Sabah.
Kota Kinabalu district police chief Assistant Commissioner Jauteh Jikun said that they have yet to get any breakthrough in the case. "There has been no calls or any leads on the kidnapper,'' he said on Saturday.
The suspected car thief drove off with the four-wheel-drive vehicle that was left with its engine running when the boy's father, 31-year-old Low Yee Sheng, went to use the toilet at a petrol kiosk at Kg Air at about 5.50am on Friday.
The car was found at the Atkinson Tower parking lot along Signal Hill about 2.5km from the scene at about 9.30am the same day but the child was missing.
Police said that Mr Low had left his house with his son after a quarrel with his wife at about 5am and headed straight into the city's Kg Air area when the incident occurred. Police believe that the case is not related to any family disputes.
They now suspect it was a crime of opportunity as the vehicle was left running.
In a Facebook posting, family member Michelle Lim said they were offering RM20,000 (S$7,732) in reward for the return of Meng Yew who was last wearing a green shirt and blue pants.
The family, who has yet to make any appeal through the mainstream media, has been posting and sharing the boy's pictures and making appeals on Facebook.
In her post on her Facebook page, Ms Lim said; "Little Mingyou you've been missing for so many hours, we miss you so badly. I wonder if you're hungry? naughty? crying? You keep appearing in my mind, just can't stop thinking of you.
"Dear God, can you hear everyone is praying? Please send him back to us, our hearts breaking. I miss your hug your kiss your laugh your manja.''