Sultan to Malaysia: Violent move won’t come first from us

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03:29 PM February 23rd, 2013

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By: Nikko Dizon, February 23rd, 2013 03:29 PM

Sultan of Sulu Jamalul Kiram talks to reporters during a news conference in Alabang, south of Manila, Philippines on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. His followers who crossed to the Malaysian state of Sabah this month will not leave and are reclaiming the area as their ancestral territory, the sultan said Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, amid a tense standoff. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Sultan Jamalul Kiram III has ordered his brother and his “Royal Army” in Sabah to keep the barrels of their guns pointed to the ground as an assurance to Malaysia that they were not there to sow violence, the sultan’s spokesperson said Saturday.

Abraham Idjirani told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone that four days ago, Kiram sent a letter to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to pledge that the Sultanate’s followers “came to Sabah to live in peace.”

“The letter said (the Sultan is) pledging to the government of Malaysia that the brother of the Sultan, Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin, will not take any violent step, except if they will be forced to fight against the military of Malaysia. But they will not make the first move,” Idjirani said.

“In fact, the order is to point the barrel of their arms to the ground as proof that there is truth to what they said that they came to Sabah to live in peace,” he added.

Idjirani also said that the Kiram family had sent a letter to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights asking it to look into the reported food blockade implemented by Malaysia against Agbimuddin and his followers.

Agbimuddin and around 300 members of sultan’s Royal Army have been in an section of town of Lahad Datu in Sabah for two weeks now.

The heirs of the sultan of Sulu and their followers sailed to Sabah to pursue their claim on the resource-rich state, saying they felt left out of the peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

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