KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19, 2015:

Lembah Pantai Member of Parliament Nurul Izzah Anwar clarified that she was in the Philippines on Nov 9 with party vice-president Tian Chua as part of the PKR delegation to meet with various stakeholders from the Philippines.

In a Press release today, Nurul Izzah said she was hosted by the council on Philippine 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.

“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.

Nurul Izzah had been criticised for meeting with Jacel, the daughter of self-styled Sultan of Sulu, Sultan Jamalul Kiram III.

She was pictured in a photo with Jacel, holding placards demanding the release of the PKR lawmaker’s father Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The photo has since gone viral, with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim saying that the issue was quite sensitive and could bring about negative perception.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein at a Press conference said that if the image was genuine, it might disrupt the nation’s security and harmony.

Jamalul Kiram has been held responsible for the Lahad Datu invasion in Sabah in 2013.

Nurul Izzah added that during the meeting, she stressed on support for Malaysian government initiatives in peace negotiations in southern Philippines.

“I wish to reiterate my support in defending the sovereignty of Sabah as part of the Malaysian federation.

“Any suggestions otherwise are mere wild, unfounded and malicious allegations,” she said.

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