The Sultanate of Sulu on Tuesday rejected rumors that it has given the Malaysian government sovereign rights over Sabah.
Sultan Abraham Idjarani, spokesman of the Sultanate of Sulu, said the Sultanate, through its new leader Esmail Kiram II, has not signed any agreement with Malaysian authorities that would give the Malaysian government sovereign rights over Sabah.
“What we proposed was to have the matter discussed seriously and peacefully to achieve a comprehensive solution to the Sabah issue,” Idjarani said.
Should Malaysian authorities agree to a meeting, Adjarani said they would also tackle the situation of Filipinos jailed in Malaysia.
Idjarani added that Esmail Kiram, through a signed statement, has called on Malaysia to ‘rectify’ the wrongdoing it committed when it grabbed Sabah from the Sultanate of Sulu.
The Sultanate has claimed ownership of Sabah, which it said was handed by the King of Brunei after Sultanate forces defended Brunei.
In March last year, dozens of followers of Sultan Rajad Muda Agbimuddin Kiram were killed while several others were captured and jailed when some 200 members of the Royal Sultan Army launched an assault against Malaysian forced in Lahad Datu, Malaysia.
Esmail Kiram also appealed to the Organization of Islamic Conference, where Malaysia is a founding member, and the Bangsamoro representative from the ancestral domain of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo, which was given an observer status, to help in the peaceful resolution of their claim over Sabah.
Idjarani said the Sultanate is also “appealing to our neighbors, the Asian countries in particular Indonesia to endorse the peaceful resolution of the Sabah dispute as the dispute is not without a peaceful resolution.”
In the same statement, Esmail Kiram stressed that the Sultanate’s ownership over Sabah “is undeniable and indisputable.”
He also appealed to the United Nations “to take the necessary preferential attentions for a peaceful resolution of the conflict to avoid further bloodshed which we do not like it to happen again.”
“How can Malaysia continue to occupy, exploit and utilize North Borneo’s(Sabah’s) natural wealth and resources such as oil which does not belong to her by historic right and legal title?,” Kiram said.
The new Sultanate leader said he is again serving “a notice of termination of the lease of North Borneo” to the Malaysian government as successor of leasehold rights to Great Britain for its early resolution.
The statement noted that the Sultanate first served the same notice in 1957.
Kiram also reminded the US government of its historic and moral obligations under the 1915 Kiram-Carpenter Peace Agreement between the US, represented by Governor General Francis Burton Harrison and the late Philippine President Manuel Roxas that the termination of the Temporal Sovereignty of the Sultanate of Sulu in the Sulu Archipelago does not mean an end to the Sultanate of Sulu’s continued sovereignty over North Borneo called as a New State of Sabah in 1963.