Blogs attack Nurul Izzah over meet with Jacel Kiram; MP says arranged by Philippine leaders


(Malay Mail Online) – PKR MP Nurul Izzah Anwar is being assailed online following the dissemination of pictures showing her together with Jacel Kiram, the daughter of the Sulu “Sultan” behind the 2013 invasion of Lahad Datu in Sabah.

On one blog questioning her association with the daughter of the late self-proclaimed Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, the writer noted that Jacel had acted as her father’s spokesman during the invasion to reclaim Sabah for himself.

Another blog also highlighted that Jacel was now contesting to be a senator in the Philippines. with a promise to lay claim on Sabah allegedly as one of her electoral pledges.

Nurul Izzah was also accused of insulting the sacrifices of the Malaysian security forces during the Sulu intrusion through her purported “cooperation” with Jacel.

When contacted over the blogs’ allegations, Nurul Izzah confirmed that she was in the Philippines on November 9 with fellow federal lawmaker Chua Tian Chang as part of a PKR delegation to meet with “various stakeholders” there.

But she said it was her hosts in the Philippines ― the council on Philippine affairs, the Asian Institute for Democracy, the office of the Manila city mayor and the office of the Philippines’ vice- president ― who determined the guest list which included Jacel.

“They decided on the list of leaders who we were to meet. Among them are legitimate candidates contesting on Vice President Jejomar Binay’s ticket ― and many other leaders from civil society.

“They include Former Governor and Congressman of Batangas Hermilando Mandanas, Congress lady Regina Reyes, Congressman Silvestre Bello, Dean of Law Amading Valdez, Former member of the cabinet Secretary Romy Nery, aspiring candidate Princess Jacel Kiram and former Undersecretary of Justice Wencie Andanar and members of the staff of the Vice President of the Philippines and the Mayor of Manila,” she said in a statement to Malay Mail Online.

Nurul Izzah said she had during the meeting stressed PKR’s “support for Malaysian government initiatives in peace negotiations in southern Philippines”, before going on to affirm Sabah’s place in the Malaysian federation.

“I wish to reiterate my support in defending the sovereignty of Sabah as part of the Malaysian federation. Any suggestion otherwise are mere wild, unfounded and malicious allegations,” the Lembah Pantai MP said.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein earlier today said Nurul Izzah’s association with Jacel would be “irresponsible” if it in any way jeopardises Malaysia’s sovereignty and security.

In March, around 200 of Kiram’s followers occupied Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu, and entered into gunfights with Malaysia’s security forces in a standoff which lasted weeks and resulted in the reported deaths of 68 people, including nine from local security forces and six civilians.

The self-proclaimed Sultanate of Sulu had laid claim to Sabah, saying it only leased North Borneo in 1878 to the British North Borneo Company for an annual payment of 5,000 Malayan dollars then, which was increased to 5,300 Malayan dollars in 1903.

Sabah, however, joined Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore to form Malaysia in 1963, after which Malaysia continued paying an annual stipend of RM5,300 to the Sulu sultanate on the basis of the sultanate ceding the Borneo state.

The last sultan of Sulu officially recognised by the Philippine government was Mahakuttah Kiram, who died in 1986. His eldest son, Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram, was crowned sultan in September 2012 and is one of the many claimants to the throne.

Jacel’s father Jamalul Kiram III was the “interim sultan” between 1974 and 1981 and elected “de facto sultan” at a meeting of the Kiram clan in November 2012. On October 20, 2013, he died at the age of 75 as a result of multiple organ failures.