August 2, 2011

Malaysian envoy’s wife denies tweeting Rizal's an 'infidel'

The wife of the Malaysian ambassador to the Philippines denied the claim by newspaper columnist Jarius Bondoc that she had maligned Jose Rizal on Twitter, insisting that she was being set up by the Malaysian opposition.

Dato Zainab, wife of Malaysian envoy to Manila Dr. Ibrahim Saad, on Monday tweeted: “pls read twt in full. twt was from Bikmama2U & she tagged me. that is a false account set up by the MAL opposition. Contacting Phl S".

Earlier Monday, the Philippine Star columnist wrote about a tweet that “caused a stir in Kuala Lumpur political circles last week" because it had “sullied the Philippine national hero Jose Rizal."

“@BikMama2U: @datozainab Biasala tu, @anwaribrahim mmg pro-Kristian, pemuja Jose Rizal si Melayu kafir tu! Oh ya, jgn lupa..."

(“@BikMama2U: @datozainab... That’s usual. Anwar Ibrahim is clearly pro-Christian, an admirer of Jose Rizal the infidel Malay! Oh yes, don’t forget...")

Bondoc explained in his column that the offensive tweet spoke of former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who now leads Malaysia’s Opposition. Anwar is coming to Manila this Friday to lecture at the University of the Philippines on Jose Rizal's influence on ASEAN leadership as part of celebrations of the national hero's 150th birth anniversary.

Bondoc had written that “[c]alling Rizal an ‘infidel Malay’ is insolent, to say the least. …If true that a diplomat’s wife is defiling the memory of Rizal as ‘infidel,’ then it not only drives a fanatical religionist wedge in Southeast Asian ties. It also derides global peace efforts through interfaith dialogue." — Marlon Anthony Tonson/VS, GMA News

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