‘Sulu sultanate owns Sabah’
08:09 Sep 02, 2020  |  By SabahKini2
‘Sulu sultanate owns Sabah’

In the note, the Malaysian government firmly rejected Bahjin’s claim.

SULU Sultan Dr. Ibrahim Bahjin Shakirullah 2nd on Monday said he was not abandoning his claim to Sabah despite Malaysia’s recent rejection of the claim.

Bahjin has written the United Nations office in Manila to respond to Malaysia’s note verbale to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

In the note, the Malaysian government firmly rejected Bahjin’s claim.

“While it may sound right, as per Malaysia’s contention that the Philippines does not have the ascendancy to claim Sabah on behalf of the Sultanate of Sulu, it is an undeniable fact that Sabah still remains the territorial possession of the Sultanate of Sulu and the latter has all the rights to claim back her territorial possession,” the sultan said.

The sultanate had “never surrendered our aspirations to claim our land, which is supposed to be returned back to us after a ‘perpetual’ lease of 100 years in accordance with international law, which we all respect,” he added.

To this day, Malaysia continues to remit to the sultanate the lease payments yearly “in complete disregard of the fact that the lease has already expired and that the property has to be returned…to its rightful legal owner, the Sultanate of Sulu,” he continued.

Bahjin stressed that the assertion that the occupants of Sabah had expressed their rights of self-determination and decided to be Malaysian citizens was immaterial.

“They are just squatters in a territory not theirs. And in the event of recovery, they may have the option to relocate themselves in the vast Malaysian land or remain subjects of the Sultanate of Sulu,” the sultan said in his letter.

He continued: “It is also worth mentioning that our people, Raayats of the Sultanate of Sulu who are presently in Sabah (their own land, so to say), are being cruelly treated, incarcerated, imprisoned, abused and expunged by the Malaysian government. Their predicaments present a huge and outstanding national, even global problem.”

Bahjin said the sultanate continues to protest the subjugation of the Raayats “through several attempts, the last and notable of which was the desperate but failed invasion of one of our sultans, Sultan Jamalul Kiram 3rd, and the valiant Raayats of the sultanate in an almost suicidal move out of desperation to regain back our land.”

The sultanate of Sulu had been yearning for an independent state in Sabah as early as Aug. 14, 2005, in accordance with the Charter of the UN, Bahjin said.

In a note verbale sent to the UN on August 27 this year, the Malaysian government said it never recognized the Philippines’ claim on Sabah, formerly known as North Borneo.

Sabah was part of the centuries-old Sultanate of Sulu, which it obtained from Brunei as a gift. In the 18th century, the British North Borneo Co. rented it from the Sultan of Sulu for 5,000 Malayan dollars annually. The amount was later increased to 5,300. Malaysia, which gained independence from the British after World War 2, later annexed the area, but continued to pay rent.