Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III says his next step will be to request help from the UN, the UK and the US.
PETALING JAYA: The self-styled Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III wants the United Nations, the United States and the United Kingdom to intervene in his claim over Sabah, Philippine news website ABS-CBNnews.com reported today.
According to the news portal, Jamalul said he had lost faith in the Philippine government’s ability to help the Kiram clan in its claim to the north Borneo State.
Jamalul’s army comprising some 200 men has remained in Kampung Tanduo, 130 km from Lahad Datu, Sabah for three weeks now.
The armed intruders reportedly lost at least 12 men in its skirmishes against the Malaysian police and armed forces last Friday.
Jamalul’s attempts to seize Sabah by force has earned the disapproval of President Benigno Aquino III, who has repeatedly appealed to the sultanate’s army to return home and resolve the territorial dispute in the Philippines.
Similarly, the Malacanang Palace said today it was not disregarding the Kiram family’s claim over Sabah but pointed out there was no reason for the army to stay there.
But instead of heeding the calls for retreat, Jamalul told the news portal today that his next step would be to seek help from the international body and two superpowers.
He said the last time the issue was brought before the UN was in the 1960s, under the term of then President Diasdado Macapagal.
US bound by agreement
In another development, spokesman for the sultanate Abraham Idjirani said it was seeking the assistance of America to intercede by invoking a 1915 agreement signed with then US colonial government in the Philippines
He said that under the Kiram-Carpenter Agreement signed on March 22, 1915, the US had agreed to provide “full protection” to the Sulu Sultan.
He added that under that agreement which was signed by then US-appointed Governor of Mindanao and Sulu province, Frank W Carpenter, with the Sulu Sultan, the latter had relinquished his and his heirs’ right to temporal sovereignty, tax collection and arbitration laws in exchange for an allowance, a piece of land and recognition as religious leader.
He said under the agreement, the US had also agreed to give “full protection to the Sultan of Sulu should the question of Sabah arise in the future between the sultanate and any foreign authority.”
“We will remind them of their moral obligation. That obligation is not to use violent means but to help find a solution,” Idjirani was reported by the Philippines Inquirer.
Idjirani said Malacañang’s “small window of opportunity” to end the standoff was not acceptable because all the government wanted was Agbimuddin’s group pullout from Sabah, without assurance of negotiations involving the sultanate’s claim to Sabah.
Eight Malaysians killed
Yesterday, Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar confirmed that a total of six policemen were killed in an ambush by armed intruders in Kampung Sri Jaya, Simunul, Semporna, Sabah on Saturday.
He said six of the armed intruders were also killed.
Police are investigating whether the group, believed to be less than 10 in number, in Kampung Sri Jaya Simunul are linked to the royal army of the Sultanate.
On Friday, two VAT 69 police commandos, ASP Zulkifli Mamat, 29 and Sergeant Sabarudin Daud, were killed, while three others were injured in a gunfire with the royal army in Kampung Tandou.
12 of the armed Sultan Sulu followers were also killed.
Yesterday, a group of soldiers from the 21st Royal Malay Regiment at the 8th Brigade Camp, Pengkalan Chepa, left for Sabah to boost security forces there, Bernama reported.
Armed forces Chief General Zulkifeli Mohd Zin was reported to have said that two more army battalions would be deployed in several areas in the east coast of Sabah.