THE photo featuring First Lady Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah standing next to Sara Netanyahu has become controversial.
It is just a photo and I do not see why some quarters have created a mountain out of a molehill surrounding the event. The event was hosted by US First Lady Jill Biden, who had invited all the first ladies for a reception.
When Dr Wan Azizah was invited, should she have asked the host whether Sara would also be invited?
Does it reflect Malaysian, Malay or even Islamic culture and decorum to ask, as a condition, who are the other guests who will be coming to grace the event?
Would it be polite and respectable for Dr Wan Azizah to move away from Sara if she was standing next to her? In the photo, one can see a few First Ladies whose countries do not have diplomatic relations with Israel.
Why are those countries not kicking up a fuss as has been done in Malaysia? The First Lady beside Sara is a Muslim and she is from a country that possibly does not recognise Israel.
So what is wrong if Dr Wan Azizah stands next to Sara? This photo was taken before Oct 7, when hostilities broke out between Hamas and the Israelis.
Moreover, Dr Wan Azizah would have gladly accepted Jill’s invitation for the First Ladies, whose spouses were attending the 78th United Nations General Assembly. It was Dr Wan Azizah’s moment of happiness and triumph in participating in the event hosted by Jill, the wife of the President of the world’s No 1 economic and military power.
Considering the troubles, turmoil and hardship she underwent for 25 years, every right-thinking person will wish her well in participating in the event, which was a first for her. I cannot understand why some eccentric people are finding fault unnecessarily.
The country is facing a lot of socio-economic and political problems, and they should put on their thinking caps and come up with some solutions that will benefit the community. Ordinary people can come up with great ideas to help the country. – Nov 2, 2023
V. Thomas is a Focus Malaysia viewer.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.