Sultan: Hold your ground

Tells 300 followers disputed Sabah ‘is our home’


SABAH SECURITY A Malaysian policeman maintains a checkpoint on a road leading to an area in Sabah, where hundreds of followers of the Sulu sultan are holed up. AFP PHOTO

Saying there was no turning back, Sultan Jamalul Kiram III has declared that his followers who crossed into the town of Lahad Datu in the Malaysian state of Sabah this month were staying put to reclaim their ancestral homeland.

Kiram said his followers were resolute despite being cornered by security forces, with the Kuala Lumpur government insisting the group return to the Philippines. He earlier said his group numbered 300, but Malaysia put it at between 80 and 100.

“Why should we leave our own home? In fact they (the Malaysians) are paying rent [to us],” he told reporters in Manila on Sunday.

“Our followers will stay in Lahad Datu. Nobody will be sent to the Philippines. Sabah is our home,” he said.

The sultan did not directly threaten violence but said “there will be no turning back for us.”

Malaysian officials have said that many in the group have weapons, but Kiram insisted his followers made the trip unarmed.

“If they have arms, they were already in Sabah,” the sultan said.

“These people are willing to die for our cause,” he told Reuters.

The southern Philippine-based Islamic sultanate once controlled parts of Borneo, including the site of the standoff, and its heirs have been receiving a nominal yearly compensation package from Malaysia under a long-standing agreement for possession of Sabah.

Kiram said he was prompted to send the group to Sabah after the sultanate was left out of a framework agreement sealed last October between Manila and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which paves the way for an autonomous area in Mindanao.

Right to stay

The sultanate’s spokesman, Abraham Idjirani, later said the sultan’s brother, Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin Kiram, who led the group to Sabah, had told him via telephone that the party was preparing to stay.

“The objective is to reside now in that place permanently, considering the sultanate owns Sabah by rights of sovereignty,” he told Agence France-Presse.

Idjirani said the group would not instigate violence but would resist if provoked.

“We recognize the capability of Malaysia. We don’t have the arms and capacity but we have the historical truth,” he said, adding that the group’s “fate is to see the recognition they are entitled to … or they die defending their ancestral rights.”

Idjirani said President Aquino’s senior aides had been in contact with the sultan and were willing to deliver a letter to the Malaysian government on his behalf for negotiations.

Group urged to return

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday repeated calls on Kiram’s group to return home.

“We want this issue to be settled in a peaceful manner,” DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez told a news briefing. “We are calling on them to leave Lahad Datu as soon as possible so that the situation will not escalate further. We would like them to leave and go home immediately.”

“What is important for now is for them to leave that area because this could affect existing issues we have including peace talks and possible bilateral relations,” he said.

Hernandez said the Philippines was attempting to get in touch with the group in Sabah directly, but he refused to give details.

“There are no reports of any violence and there are no reports of bloodshed. They (Malaysian authorities) are talking to the group and also to our officials, our security and defense officials are also talking with their counterparts in Malaysia,” Hernandez said.

“Negotiations are now focused on making sure our people there are able to go back safely and that their safety and security are of importance and that we are able to resolve this through negotiation.”

No talks on Sabah claim

Hernandez said on Monday there were no discussions on the Sabah claim “at this point in time.”

“We appreciate Malaysian government’s actions to resolve this situation as soon as possible in line with the instruction of Prime Minister Najib Razak,” Hernandez said. “The Malaysian government chose to handle the issue through negotiations and to get the group to leave peacefully to prevent bloodshed.”

“Hopefully there will be a softening of a position,” Abigail Valte, deputy presidential spokesperson, said in a briefing Monday.

“The incident is very sensitive and, as such, we are withholding comment and deferring to the DFA,” Valte said.

Valte declined to comment on whether Nur Misuari, chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who questioned the MILF deal, had anything to do with the standoff.

“Hopefully not,” she said. “Maybe there are other groups that are attempting something because we have come to a point in the peace process where it is actually possible to attain peace. And we’re doing everything on that front to make sure that happens.”

“We are on a wait-and-see attitude,” Abu Ambri Taddik, MNLF deputy secretary general, told the Inquirer in an interview on Sunday.

He said if the intention of the sultan was to pursue the issue of ownership of Sabah without politics, many people in the sultanate would support him.

“I think both governments should sit down and jointly help diffuse the situation,” Sen. Gregorio Honasan said on Sunday in Cagayan de Oro City. “If left unattended, it might become more complicated because of [the possibility] of an armed confrontation.”—Reports from AFP; Reuters; Tarra Quismundo, TJ Burgonio and Arlyn dela Cruz in Manila; and Bobby Lagsa, Inquirer Mindanao

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  • delpillar

    Makikita nyo na ang mga baril ng Malaysian Police sa mga news TV and newspapers ay mostly M16A1.

    Ang gamit ng MNLF, MILF, ASG at Sultanate Royal Army ay M16A2 some with grenade launchers, M16A4 with riflescope, M14 some with riflescope, M60, Ultimax/SAW and karamihan ay may DND/AFP na tatak.

    Kung hindi gagamit ang Malaysia ng F18 at Mig-29 figher jets, malamang na 1:3 up to 1:5 ang casulaties lamang ang Sultan Royal Army, bukod pa kasi yan sa pagiging beterano sa giyera nila.

    • Lakan Kildap

       Ano ‘to, videogame?

    • Matambaka

      Hindi aamin na involved ang AFP/DND nyan. Relaks na lang tayo at mag monitor.

  • Hong Wee Cheah

     The Manila Accord, July 31, 1963
    The Manila Accord of the Diosdado Macapagal initiative was signed on 31 July 1963 by the Federation of Malaya, the Republic of Indonesia and the Republic of the Philippines.

    The countries agreed to abide by the wishes of the people of North Borneo (now Sabah and Labuan) and Sarawak within the context of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV), Principle 9 of the Annex taking into account referendums in North Borneo and Sarawak that would be free and without coercion.

    The Ministers reaffirmed their countries’ adherence to the principle of
    self-determination for the peoples of non-self-governing territories. In this context,
    Indonesia and the Philippines stated that they would welcome the formation of Malaysia
    provided the support of the people of the Borneo territories is ascertained by an
    independent and impartial authority, the Secretary-General of the United Nations or his

    And the people of Sabah has voted to stay under the rule of the Federation of Malaya.

    As reported by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the independence of North Borneo was brought about as the result of the expressed wish of the majority of the people of the territory in a 1963 election. This is further reinforced by the International Court of Justice.

    Sabah belongs to Malaysia.     Get used to it!

    • boypalaban

       Malaysia belongs to the pigs!

      • Raymund Nate

        don’t say bad words to sultan, don’t mock his name, he’s still a king, one of the king here inside the Philippines,. your disrespect reflect your name Malaysia, he would’d have claimed it if you dint RAPED!!! (1 of it 13 yr old girl)  and maltreated the Filipino in Sabah this past decade.,

      • boypalaban

        baka gusto mo ayusin o ilipat sa bandang taas yang komento mo…

    • juan dela cruz

      who are you to lecture us ! you malaysians are the stealers,the land grabbers should leave sabah… 

  • eduyuuy

    go sultan Kiram…we filipino muslim and christians are supporting  your fight to gain back sabah. go go go… mabuhay tayong mga filipino!

  • dikoy321

    Had the British & Malaysians NOT CHEATED and let Sabah remain under the Sultan of Solo, the population of Sabah would have been Filipinos !

    Therefore, by the time the UN conducted their Referendum, the Sabah population would have been in favor of staying part of Sulu, and consequently, the Philippines !

    GO FOR IT Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, your followers in Sulu and the Filipino nation supports your CORRECT and VALID Legal claim !

    Forward Sabah, Forward Philippines, GET BACK SABAH !!!

    • Hong Wee Cheah

       Had your Sultan not sell us out to the Whites, none of these will happen. Blame it on your foolish Sultan. He had no vision and no capability to foresee the potential of Sabah. Him getting duped by the Brits is between him and the Brits. Our troops have started moving in to smoke out the pirates.

      • stoich_craw

        Its not a sell out. Its what we called “lease”, “rent”, agreed upon. You need some proof? Dont push your argument on the basis of wrong information on the internet and wikipedia. Why dont you consult your embassy here in Manila and they will be kind enough to show you the contract of lease of Sabah. Unfortunately for the Suluans, the Brits mistranslated the word “padjak” to mean as “grant” which really means “rent”.

        Mr. Wee, so how do you call the annual payment of 7000 ringgit that your govt is paying to the heirs of Sulu?A bribe to keep their mouth shut?Certainly not. That pittance amount that the Brits started paying to the Sultan hundred years ago didnt even appreciated and adjusted to the annual inflation. My god its a bargain.

        I have nothing against Malays, but I dont like the way they play their cards. You may have a low opinion on us (as much as we have on you) but we dont resort to foul play, we dont sponsor terrorists, and we dont harbor scammers that duped the filipinos billions of pesos :-)

      • Hong Wee Cheah

         We don’t show up in your country with guns and weapons and call for a peaceful negotiation. We don’t like the way these Sulu pirates are behaving and we have the rights to defend ourselves.

      • boypalaban

         defend yourselves in international court!

      • stoich_craw

        Are you sure you did not show up in our soil? What about the malaysian spies in the 1970s in Mindanao? And how about the arms sumuggling and your support on armed rebels and terrorists in mindanao, which gave our government decades of headache so successfull that our attention was diverted away from our Sabah claim.

        The sultans action is a ticking time bomb waiting to happen. Everything will backfire against your country.

      • Al Sonie

        we don’t want to be apart of your miserable country! please leave us alone. We dont want to be with people that use Fire Guns to negotiate, coward people do that. We happy with malaysia. We don’t need to be apart with non civilize people.

      • stoich_craw

        Al sonie, can you clarify the word “apart”..kidding aside. Dont worry, we also dont want your stinky perverts to become a part of our country. We just want your country to give the sultan of sulu a proper compensation he deserves.

      • Pedring2

        Welcome home Sultan!  Drive away the cheapskates and abettors of  fraud. Shameless people! 

      • boypalaban

        your prime minister is a pig…
        your former deputy minister is a gay…

      • juan dela cruz

        stay out of here now! 

  • Raymund Nate

    don’t say bad words to sultan, don’t mock his name, he’s still a king, one of the king here inside the Philippines,. your disrespect reflect your name Malaysia, he would’d have claimed it if you dint RAPED!!! (1 of it 13 yr old girl)  and maltreated the Filipino in Sabah this past decade.,

  • Raymund Nate

    don’t say bad words to sultan, don’t mock his name, he’s still a king, one of the king here inside the Philippines,. your disrespect reflect your name Malaysia, he would’d have claimed it if you dint RAPED!!! (1 of it 13 yr old girl)  and maltreated the Filipino in Sabah this past decade.,

    • Al Sonie

       no one want to rape pilipin/PH. they are filthy, they got problem. we dont want to get infected with thier virus.

  • Hong Wee Cheah

    “When you brandish arms, naturally the other side has only one way to respond to such a challenge.”Aquino

  • Hong Wee Cheah

    Two weeks after the Sabah standoff began, the Malaysian government has given the Royal Army of the Sultanate of Sulu an ultimatum to leave the island by Friday, otherwise the Malaysian government forces will move in on them.

    • stoich_craw

      Good. Its what they are expecting for, to die or reach a compromise. They may be martyrs, but they are not stupid :-) While im not a fan of violence, i admire the sultans courage and cleverness. Dont be surprised if your once sponsored rebels from our country will flood in your beloved Sabah to take vengeance. Your country created them, arent you? :-)

  • Ibrahim

    mr.RAUL HERNANDES bakit mo pauwiin ang mga muslim brothers  natin ang SABAH ay kanila, kung ikaw ay paalisin sa sarili mong lupain papayag ka ba ?

  • Shooting Star

    can this so-called sultan sulu show us some documents/evidence stating that he is the real sultan sulu? they’re so many ppl who calling themselves sultan sulu.. malaysia may be paying the money but not to them but to the state bank n noone is receiving it… malaysia can also stop paying it.. y didnt this sultan sulu show us the prove that he received this money? malaysia should arrest these pirates n send them back to pinoy -_-

    • stoich_craw

      Yes he has the documents, and if you want to see it, go there to Sulu my friend. And if you make it there alive, you might try the malaysian embassy :-)

    • Pedring2

      If shameless Malaysians come to the International Court of Justice, they will see the documents.  Remember, Malaysia was asked to come to the ICJ in the 1960s, but she would not come – because she sknows that Sabah is a hot (stolen) property.

      Malaysian Ali Babas, get off my land!

      Sulu brothers: Hold your ground! 

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