KUALA LUMPUR: Former Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar told the High Court here today that PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar meeting Jacel Kiram was tantamount to treason because the self-styled Sulu princess was regarded as an enemy of the nation.
Jacel Kiram is the daughter of Jamalul Kiram III, the leader of a separatist movement which claims Sabah as part of a Sulu sultanate.
In 2013, more than 200 armed militants raided Lahad Datu, Sabah, in support of the separatist movement.
Khalid said treason was a serious offence and one which could be investigated under the Penal Code.
“I deem the plaintiff’s action as treason because Jacel Kiram is regarded as an enemy of the nation after the intrusion incident by Sulu militants in Sabah in 2013,” he said.
Khalid was testifying at the hearing of a defamation suit filed by Nurul Izzah against him and Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
She claimed they had uttered slanderous remarks in relation to a picture of her with Jacel Kiram.
Replying to a question from senior federal counsel Normastura Ayub, Khalid said Jacel Kiram could be deemed an enemy of the country because she was the propagandist for Sulu Sultanate terrorists and the Royal Sulu Force (RSF) which were mainly responsible for RSF’s activities in Sabah.
He said Jacel Kiram was very active and aggressive in issuing statements in the Philippines social media which among others denigrated Malaysia over the arrests of Sulu Sultanate terrorists who intruded into Lahad Datu. She also allegedly condemned Malaysia and the country’s security forces on the sultanate’s claim over Sabah.
Jacel Kiram, he said, was the daughter of Jamalul Kiram III, the individual who claimed to be the Sultan of Sulu and who had masterminded the Lahad Datu intrusion together with his younger brother Datu Agbimuddin Kiram.
“The intrusion resulted in shooting incidents that claimed the lives of several Malaysian security forces personnel,” he said.
He added that the meeting (between Nurul Izzah and Jacel Kiram) had also hurt the feelings of Malaysians particularly the families of those who perished in Lahad Datu.
“Malaysians saw the meeting as cosying up with the enemy,” he said.
Khalid said the effect and reaction of the public at that time could be seen from the over 100 police reports lodged across the country showing their objection to the plaintiff’s meeting with Jacel Kiram.
He said when the plaintiff’s (Nurul Izzah) meeting with Jacel Kiram became public after it was disclosed by Jacel Kiram herself, it reminded Malaysians of the intrusion which had caused them anxiety, fear and dissatisfaction.
Khalid pointed out that as the inspector-general of police then, he issued a statement regarding the meeting in response to reporters’ queries over the situation which was hotly debated and had attracted public attention involving public order issues.
“As the inspector-general of police, I had the responsibility to clarify that the plaintiff’s meeting with Jacel Kiram was tantamount to treason which was within the jurisdiction of the police to investigate,” he said.
He said an investigation was initiated against Nurul Izzah in connection with the case under Section 124L of the Penal Code which is an attempt to commit sabotage.”
During cross-examination by counsel R Sivarasa, who is representing Nurul Izzah, Khalid said based on the picture of the meeting, it was very clear that it was planned and that their presence together was not a coincidence.
He said that he came to know of the meeting after the picture was uploaded by Jacel Kiram on her Facebook page, and also through reports from his officers.
The hearing before Judicial Commissioner Faizah Jamaludin continues on Monday.
Nurul Izzah, who is also the Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai, filed the suit on Nov 26, 2015, and claimed that Khalid had uttered the slanderous remarks about her at a press conference at Bukit Aman (Federal Police headquarters) on Nov 22, 2015.
In her affidavit, Nurul Izzah said the IGP had made the slanderous remarks a few days after the picture of her and Jacel Kiram was made public.
She further claimed that on the same day (Nov 22, 2015), Ismail Sabri also made similar remarks about her at a press conference during a function in his Bera parliamentary constituency.