Friends of a British man who went missing while enjoying a paradise island adventure in Malaysia have criticised local authorities' half-hearted attempts to find him.

Gareth David Huntley, 34, has not been seen for four days, since he set off to find a hidden waterfall from the turtle sanctuary at which he was a volunteer.

A search party from the turtle refuge failed to find him, but the authorities have scarcely lifted a finger to help, claimed a friend.

Sophie Wilson said: "Nothing has come from the authorities. As far as we aware the police were informed and haven't been doing anything. They have been incredibly lethargic.

"They've said that they are performing a search but all evidence on the ground suggests that they are just not taking this seriously.

"They are not providing this with the resources that it needs."

Huntley, from London, was staying on Tioman Island, off the east coast of Malaysia, at the Juara Turtle Project.

Police were told he was missing on the second day after his disappearance, but did not send out a search party.

Concern about the pace of efforts to find Huntley were echoed by his family, who have had no contact at all with the Malaysian authorities.

Mother Janet Southwell said: "I am extremely concerned and anxious about my son.

"He has been missing for four days now, and as yet I have had no contact from any official agency advising me as to the progress of the search.

"At this stage I feel it is essential that the search be intensified as time is running out for Gareth, so I would really appreciate the support of the Malaysian Authorities and the UK government."

The UK Foreign Office said it was providing assistance and support, and friends have set up a Facebook page campaigning for more effective action.