Malaysia—The descendants of the Sulu sultanate have condemned Sultan Jamalul Kiram III for instigating violence in Sabah.
Mudarasulail Kiram, who is the son of the late Sultan Mahakuttah Kiram, and fellow claimant to the Sulu throne Sultan Bantilan Muhammad Muizzuddin II condemned Jamalul for putting the lives of the Tausug people in danger because of his selfish agenda.
The Malaysian news agency Bernama on Thursday reported them as calling on their countrymen to immediately retreat from Sabah and stop following the orders of Jamalul, as he was not the real sultan of Sulu.
It is wrong and un-Islamic to terrorize Sabah, especially as Malaysia has never oppressed the Tausug community, Mudarasulail said.
“Our target should be the Philippine government, which has oppressed us for so long,” he added.
Stressing that Sabah rightfully belonged to Malaysia, Mudarasulail said the Tausug community in the eastern Malaysian state risk being victimized because of Jamalul’s actions.
He also called on the sultan, who is living in Manila, to stop using the name Jamalul, as people like him who perpetrate violence should not use the sacred names of former sultans.
He said Jamalul had proclaimed himself sultan despite not being the biological grandson of Sultan Mawalil Wasit (who was the designated Sulu sultan after Sultan Jamalul Kiram II died in 1936 without any direct heirs).
Muizzudin sent representatives to meet Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and discuss ways to resolve the conflict in Sabah.
“Sultan Bantilan condemned the acts of violence,” Ahmad said, adding that the representatives met him in Kuala Lumpur on Monday night.
Sabahans have also rallied to sign an online petition that rejects Jamalul’s claim to Sabah.
Written by five youths on March 2 and uploaded to change.org, the petition has received 2,908 signatures as of noon on Wednesday.
The petition by the Concerned Citizens of Sabah states: “The peace-loving people of Sabah unanimously agree that whatever the result of any injunction or fact-finding mission, we wish to remain Malaysians.
“We appeal to the international community to acknowledge the people of Sabah’s right to self-determination, to endorse the state’s constitutional sovereignty of the Malaysian government as valid and the desire of Sabahans to permanently reject the sultanate of Sulu’s claim on our home.”
The petition will be forwarded to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and President Aquino.
The petition acknowledged the shared history between Sabah and the Philippines but “respectfully and permanently reject” the sultanate’s claims, which the group deemed as “irrelevant to modern-day Sabah.”
Signing the petition, Nur Azila Awang Sarin from Kota Kinabalu said, “Sabah belongs to Malaysia.”
Adam Chin said the Lahad Datu conflict was “doomed to fail,” adding that Sabahans had become one with Malaysians in Sarawak and the peninsula.