Home ministry's unconditional release of self-proclaimed 'Sulu Sultan' and its disregard of the illegal immigrant issue in Sabah will backfire on BN, says a coalition partner.
KOTA KINABALU: Barisan Nasional component, United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko), is heading for a showdown with the coalition over a former Umno member who declared himself ‘Sultan of Sulu’.
Upko has demanded the home ministry immediately expel Mohd Akjan Ali Muhammad from Malaysia for claiming that he is now Sultan of Sulu with a historical claim on Sabah.
Tuaran MP and Upko deputy president Wilfred Bumburing said the Federal government must take action for the direct insult to the King and the Sabah head of state.
He said Akjan, detained under the Internal Security Act in the ’90s for allegedly producing and selling Malaysian Identity Cards, has made a mockery of the nation’s constitution.
Bumburing said there is sufficient grounds to question Akjan’s Malaysian citizenship.
“His citizenship should be revoked, his Mykad declared null and void and he must be deported now, together with those people involved in his so-called coronation.
“It’s treason,” said Bumburing following Akjan’s unconditional release from police custody on Sunday after spending a week in prison to facilitate an investigation into the matter.
Akjan, a businessman of Filipino descent, has powerful connections in the Umno political hierarchy.
He declared himself ‘Sultan of Sulu’ on Feb 2 in a ‘coronation’ at his residence in Kampung Likas, a stone’s throw from residences of several senior Sabah Umno members, including a former head of state.
His ‘coronation’ which was announced in a statement by his self-proclaimed “government in waiting”, drew gasps of incredulity from Sabahans and politicians from various parties on both sides of the divide and forced an investigation.
Federal government must act
Akjan acknowledged the sensitivity of his case when he was produced in court last week during his remand hearing where he urged that any
trial not be held in public as it was a unique and serious matter involving the Malaysian government.
He also told the court that he had sent several documents to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak over the matter and whatever he had done was “for the country’s benefit and not my own” apparently in reference to the long-standing Philippines claim on Sabah.
Meanwhile, Upko has used the incident to refocus on allegations that the state is host to thousands of foreigners who have been given Malaysian citizenship through dubious means.
Bumburing said the Federal government must act following the latest incident which buttresses his memorandum to the home ministry last December and in Parliament in March.
He said he had the proof and facts needed for the ministry to act against all those who have been fraudulently granted citizenship but noticed that the number of foreigners getting Mykads had mysteriously increased based on a recent census.
“Instead of reacting only when they see and realise that the issues are among those raised by Sabahan MPs in every parliament session, should react positively now and take the necessary action to solve what every Sabahan has regarded as the mother of all problems.
“Such blatant disrespect by the home minister towards the wishes of bonafide Malaysian citizens in Sabah would disrupt the 1Malaysia concept and the so-called ‘fixed deposit’,” Bumburing warned in reference to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s unity campaign and the BN political tag affixed to the state.
He said the Federal government was ignoring the issue at its own peril and it would have an impact on the BN in the coming general election, by which time “we would learn too late”.