Feb 20, 2013

Sabah To Whom It Belongs?

What’s happening in Sabah? A hundred fully armed Filipinos are holed up in a remote coastal town since last Wednesday in order to press the claim of the Sultanate of Sulu and Sabah that Sabah belongs to the family of Sultan Muhammad Fuad Abdulla Kiram, the 35th De Jure Reigning Sultan. The Sultan is also head of the Sultanate & head of Islam in the Royal Hashemite Sultanate of Sulu and of Sabah. So we ask, are these people crazy or are they trying to recover what the Sultan of Sulu legitimately owns?

Here's the evidence of Leased Payment from Malaysian Government to the Heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu that is being leaked on the internet.

I’m glad that the Aquino regime is very cautious regarding the disturbing moves happening in Sabah these days. After all, it recently signed a framework agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), but as we already wrote before because they apparently left out the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) because they just don’t like Nur Misuari.

But since we are talking peace with the MILF, we must do the same for the MNLF despite Nur Misuari who during the 2nd MNLF Peace Summit on May 24, 2008 in Davao City, he, before the presence of the Sultan of Sulu and Sabah, Muhammad Fuad A. Kiram I, held a sword and vowed to work for the return of Sabah to the Royal Sultanate of Sulu by peaceful means. So the question goes back to the hundred armed men in Sabah: are they trying to recover Malaysia through peaceful means? That they are armed to the teeth makes us suspicious of their moves.

But if there is anything that the Aquino regime should avoid at all cost it is opening two fronts that could trigger a war with one of our ASEAN neighbors. It’s bad enough that we are having territorial problems with China in Scarborough shoal, which they are claiming as theirs from their past history maps. Let’s just hope this issue in Sabah can be diffused peacefully. With that said, we must also go back to history on whether the claim of the Sultan of Sulu and of Sabah is legitimate or not.

Some history books tell us that pre-Spanish Philippines were mostly inhabited by Muslims. This maybe true to most of Mindanao, but not to Cebu. If you recall, when Ferdinand Magellan’s Armada de Moluccas anchored off to what is now downtown Cebu City in 1521, he was greeted by Rajah Humabon. Ask yourselves, what country uses Rajah or Maharajah? Muslim kings are called Datus… but it was a Rajah that greeted the Spaniards because Cebu and the Visayas was part of the Sri-Vishaya Empire, which means our Cebuano ancestors had a Hindu, not a Muslim past.

If at all we’ve never found any peace in Mindanao, it is due to the fact that there are just so many unresolved issues that no one dared or cared to fix. While the Spaniards colonized much of the Philippine Archipelago, they really didn’t do well in Southern Mindanao, except in Zamboanga City.

Back in Jan. 22, 1878, Sabah then under Sultan Jamalal Ahlam Kiram of Sulu and Sabah were leased to a British company represented by Gustavus Baron de Overbeck of Hong Kong and Alfred Dent, Esquire of London for a princely sum (at that time) of $5,000 annually. Today Sabah under Malaysia pumps nearly one million barrels of oil per day in Sabah, which is estimated at $75 million per day. This does not include the other things that Sabah produces like timber, forest and agriculture products.

According to reports I’ve read, Malaysia pays the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu an annual rent of $1,500, which is far lower than what they got from the British… and peanuts if you consider the income Malaysia gets from Sabah’s oil fields. No wonder, Sultan Kiram I minced no words when he insisted that “The continued occupation of Sabah by Malaysia is illegal and it must end.” So the big question we ought to ask is whether we should help Sultan Kiram I recover Sabah from Malaysia. If it is ours, then we must.

What’s more interesting for us in the Philippines is that, then Sultan Muhammad Esmail Kiram who ruled as Sultan of Sulu and Sabah in 1947-1973, wrote and signed on Jan. 22, 1958 an “Instrument of Cessation” declaring the lease to the British Company since Jan. 22, 1878 as “terminated”. There’s more! On April 24, 1962, Sultan Esmail Kiram signed an instrument recognizing, admitting and accepting the ultimate sovereignty, title and dominion of the Republic of the Philippines over their North Borneo Territory without prejudice to the proprietary rights of the heirs of the Sultan Kiram.

On Sept. 12, 1962, the Philippines, then under President Diosdado Macapagal with Vice-President Emmanuel Pelaez formally accepted this instrument giving Philippine sovereignty to Sabah. But on Aug. 31, 1963, Malaysia was granted Independence by the British. So for all intents and purposes… we got Sabah first before Malaysia could be independent. So why is the Philippines ignoring this fact? That Malaysia pays its annual “rent” to the Sultan is proof that the Sultan’s claim is legitimate. There’s more on this.

-The Philippine Star


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