KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK): Malaysian opposition politician Nurul Izzah Anwar may have committed an act of treason by meeting with an enemy of the state, says Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar.
Photos of Ms Nurul Izzah posing with self-styled Sulu princess Jacel Kiram have stirred controversy, with MPs and the public demanding that the Lembah Pantai MP explain herself.
Ms Jacel is the daughter of self-styled Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, who ordered the Lahad Datu intrusion in 2013.
The late Jamalul Kiram sent 200 members of his "Royal Sulu Army" to invade Sabah in Feb 2013 to stake his claim over the state.
Speaking to reporters at Bukit Aman on Sunday, Tan Sri Khalid said he was infuriated that a member of the Malaysian Parliament would engage in a meeting with Ms Jacel, whom he described as having a hand in the death of several police and military officers during the incursion.
"She should know that her actions can be considered an act of treason. An MP meeting an enemy who attacked parts of our country; we need to know what was the reason behind this meeting.
"Who knows if the previous attacks were masterminded by the people in the country? We need to call in YB Nurul to provide clarification," he explained.
Mr Khalid said that he was aware that Ms Nurul Izzah had issued an apology on Saturday, but insisted that the meeting was still a serious offence.
"I was informed that YB Nurul has apologised, but that's a separate matter. This is a serious offence that can threaten the safety and order in our country.
"Jangan main-main (don't mess around). This could be an offence under Section 124 of the Penal Code and we can use the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) to investigate her," he added.
Section 124 of the Penal Code covers offences that threaten parliamentary democracy.
Mr Khalid said that the police would also investigate other individuals involved in the meeting with Ms Jacel.
"Based on the pictures, this meeting was not coincidental. They came with banners and took photos in certain poses. In my opinion it's not a coincidence.
"It's a planned meeting and we want to know what discussions they had. She (Nurul Izzah) should be ready with answers," he explained, while adding that police are expecting to record the Lembah Pantai MP's statement next week.
Ms Nurul Izzah, Parti Keadilan Rakyat's (PKR's) vice-president, is ready to cooperate with the authorities probing her meeting with Ms Jacel, even as the Sulu "princess" hits out at Malaysians for labelling her a "terrorist".
Saying that she had nothing to hide, the Lembah Pantai MP said everyone during the meeting in the Philippines had taken photographs with her in support of the release of her father Anwar Ibrahim.
"I must reiterate that I did not seek out or set up any meeting nor was I ever acquainted before with Jacel. Instead, she was one of the 15 guests invited by my hosts," she said in a statement on Saturday.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had since said that the Government would refer the meeting to the Attorney-General's Chambers while Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Azalina Othman Said raised the possibility that the MP might face the Parliament's Rights and Privileges Committee.
Ms Nurul Izzah said she understood that the photos had hurt the families of the policemen killed and Malaysians, including affected members of the Sabahan community.
"And for this, I am deeply regretful of. My sympathies and support have always been and will always be with our fallen heroes, victims of the incursion, and continuous affected communities due to the ongoing conflict and demands by the separatists," she said.
On Facebook, Democratic Action Party MP Teresa Kok claimed that her statement that the Tanduo invasion was an "old story and not serious" had been taken out of context.
Ms Kok said when questioned by reporters on Thursday about the photos, she had told them that as public figures, they were used to meeting all sorts of people and getting requests for pictures or selfies.
"I had asked the reporters, "What's a big deal about this photo? Why dig up such old story (refer to the picture)?" she said.
In a Facebook posting, Ms Jacel said "desperate" Malaysians were now calling her a terrorist in an attempt to justify their claim on Sabah.
"An attempt to justify land grabbing of Sabah, desperate Malaysians call the angelic, charming, witty and approachable Princess Jacel Kiram a terrorist," she wrote.