PETALING JAYA: Nurul Izzah Anwarâ€™s meeting with â€˜Princessâ€™ Jacel Kiram in the Philippines can be construed as “subtle support” for Jacelâ€™s campaign to become a senator, says former Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee.
Yong, who spoke to The Star on Friday, said such a meeting was highly offensive to Sabahans because Jacel has made the â€œSabah claimâ€ her main campaign agenda.
â€œNot only that, Jacel was the main spokesperson for the Kiram-led armed intrusion at Lahad Datu in 2013.
â€œMany innocent lives were lost, Sabah villagers were displaced and our security forces suffered fatalities. Even now the adverse economic impact on the Sabah economy, especially east coast, is still being felt,â€ he said.
Yong said Jacel’s campaign (to claim Sabah) was widely known and there was no way that Nurul, who is PKR vice-president, and her colleagues were not aware of her campaign.
“Therefore, Sabahans are deeply offended, even disturbed, by Nurul’s apparent support for Jacel.â€
Pictures of Nurul Izzah together with Jacel caused an uproar as many questioned why Nurul Izzah would meet with someone whose late father Jamalul Kiram III ordered 200 of his ‘Royal Sulu Army’ to invade Sabah in Feb 2013.
In one picture, Nurul Izzah was seen having dinner with Jacel and an unidentified man while in two other pictures, she posed with Jacel holding a â€˜Release Anwar Immediatelyâ€™ poster.
She has defended her meeting with Jacel, saying that it was arranged by the Filipino authorities.
Nurul Izzah said she had gone to the Philippines on Nov 9 with Batu MP Tian Chua, as part of the party’s delegation to meet political stakeholders in the country.
According to her, the people she met were legitimate stakeholders and civil society leaders.
They included former Batangas governor and Congressman Hermilando Mandanas, Congress members Regina Reyes and Silvestre Bello, Dean of Law Amading Valdez, former cabinet member Romy Nery, former undersecretary of justice Wencie Andanar and staff members of the vice-president of the Philippines and the mayor of Manila.
She said the list was decided by the council on Philippines affairs and the Asian Institute for Democracy, the office of the City Mayor of Manila and the office of the Vice-President of the Philippines.-The Star
(Reported by T.Avineshwaran)