Kuala Lumpur: The boat lost contact after sailing out on Saturday morning from the eastern state of Sabah.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said search and rescue efforts were being hampered by bad weather. The incident coincides with the first day of China’s week-long Lunar New Year celebration. The boat left Kota Kinabalu on Saturday at 09:00 local time (01:00 GMT) and was heading towards Pulau Mengalum, a popular tourist island 60km (37 miles) west of the city.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said there were three crew members on board the boat.