Sulu elders key up Sabah return

The Council of Elders or the Ruma Bichara of the Royal House of Sulu holds sway in the manner at which negotiations with Malaysia is undertaken when it comes to taking up with Malaysia the recent $14.9 billion French arbitral court award to the Sultanate.

Sultan Muedzul Lail Tan Kiram as the legitimate holder of the title as head of the Sultanate based on the line of succession will negotiate with the head of the Malaysian delegation over the Sabah issue, according to the Sulu Sultanate’s Prime Minister Amroussi Tillah Rasul.

Even President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., in 1974, acknowledge that the Crown Prince of the Sultanate is Muedzul Lail Tan Kiram.

Rasul said the negotiations should have the full support of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos but it should be between the Sultanate and the Malaysian government who are the parties in the arbitral case.

The Malaysian government, meanwhile, has released four of the nine Tausug warriors who were convicted and are awaiting execution at the Kuala Lumpur high-profile prison, an high-ranking member of the Sultanate said.

KL releases Sulu prisoners

The official told the Daily Tribune that families of the convicts reported to Sultan Phugdalum Kiram that the Office of the Presidential Peace Process provided return plane tickets for the released Filipinos.

The source, however, said — Datu Amirbahar Husim Kiram — the son of the late Jumamul Kiram and four others are still languishing in the penitentiary and are expecting their release in 2024.

The other son of the Sultan, Rajah Muda Kiram who led the “reoccupation of their ancestral land” in Lahad Datu was able to evade Malaysian security forces and was able to return to Sulu. He died a natural death in 2015.

The convicts were earlier sentenced to life by the Kota Kinabalo court in 2016 but the Federal Government headed then by Prime Minister Najib Razak appealed before the Federal High court to reverse the decision.

The nine convicts and at least 500 families who are the direct descendants in the Sultanate are the named beneficiaries of the gargantuan windfall granted by the French tribunal.

The direct heirs were named based on the 1939 decision Session court of North Borneo named nine direct descendants of the Sultanate of Sulu who had the proprietary rights over the disputed territory of Sabah.

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