Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has called for a full investigation after a boat carrying 28 Chinese tourists capsized off the coast of Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah.
"I take seriously the capsized boat tragedy in Sabah and I want a comprehensive investigation done to identity the cause of the incident," he posted Monday on Facebook.
Najib said efforts should focus on finding the six passengers who are still missing.
The boat, carrying three crewmen and 28 Chinese tourists, was first reported missing on Saturday. Authorities managed to recover 22 people from the water, but three passengers died.
The skipper and a crewmen were rescued Sunday. Since then, they have been reportedly detained by authorities to help with investigations.
China's foreign ministry has urged Malaysia to continue its search for the remaining passengers.
A ministry spokesperson also requested that Malaysian authorities keep them informed with the latest search and rescue developments.
The owner of the catamaran had notified authorities late Saturday that the boat had failed to return 12 hours after departing from the Tanjung Aru jetty on a trip to the island of Pulau Mengalum.
Located around 30 kilometres west of Kota Kinabalu, Pulau Mengalum is a popular tourist destination known for its clear waters.