It was few month ago my attention in some news article about the Sultan of Sulu and North Borneo who claim his sovereign over Sabah. I started to do some googling (internet search) information about this issue that has been hovering for month over the daily news. I came up first with wikipedia define the Sultan of Sulu as quote,
The Sultanate of Sulu was a Muslim state that ruled over many of the islands of the Sulu Sea, in the southern Philippines. The sultanate was founded in 1450, but other sources place the date earlier. Muslim historians believe that it had existed centuries earlier in the time of Raja Baguinda Ali.
I learned the existence of the Sultan of Sulu and their claim of sovereign but i never thought they really put the name North Borneo or Sabah in their title reign. Since that, few people claim the title of Sultan of North Borneo or Sabah that i found it a bit over too much.
Currently the issue of who would be the legitimate Sultan of Sulu is disputed by several branches of the Royal Family, although the line of succession fell on the Kiram branch of the royal family from 1823 up to the death of the last sovereign sultan in 1936.
I found it a bit confused to find that a Royalty that cease to exist since 1936 come rise again to claim that seem to be impossible in current political term. The Sultan of Sulu even doesn’t have the grip of his main of state in Philippine picking on Malaysia to acknowledge his authority and give Sabah back to them. Now, the Philippine government raised the issue in behalf of Sultan of Sulu to claim back Sabah but i doubt they will give the rule of power to the sultan in their mind.
In 1906 and in 1920, the United States formally reminded Great Britain that North Borneo did not belong to the Crown and was still part of the Sultanate of Sulu. However, the British did turn Sabah into a Crown leased Colony.
The Philippine Constitution of 1941 states that the national territory of the Philippines included, among other things, "all other areas which belong to the Philippines on the basis of historical rights or legal claims." Malaysia was federated in 16 September 1963. Even before Sabah was incorporated into Malaysia, the Philippines sent delegations to London reminding the British Crown that Sabah belonged to the Philippines.
It was to believe that Sabah supposed to belong to Sultan of Sulu but the existence of the Royalty not relevant to the current condition. I doubt that Sabah people will allow this to be happen as having a Royalty not really good thing as they not really relevant to the benefits of the general population but groups’ interest of people that well connected to the beneficiary. Thanks to the United Nation sanction, Sabah not part of the Sulu Region.
Today, the issue was raised again and i was shocked that the Sulu Heir was given such amount of money as a lease to the land of Sabah on 2003 and 2002.
I was not known the legality and the purpose of this letter will affect the claim of Sulu Royalty on Sabah. The historical information on this issue still not knows and researched in detailed. Most of the information only available on Wikipedia and Royal Sulu Offical Website.
It was well known that Sabahan are really easy to persuade and manipulated. I believe the lease was paid to the heir of Sulu Royal due to the fear of rebellion on Moro flown in to Sabah. The influx of the Sulu illegal into Sabah for 2 generation really become main problem raised by the Sabahan politician especially by Yong Teck Lee from SAPP.
With the unstable political balance growing on to the Federal level, uncertainty again the future of the claim will be handle. Sabahan lived in dilemma in which a double edge sword. Independent as a North Borneo Sovereign not the option as it has lots of natural resource such as oil and forest that no nation want to let go. Philippine and Malaysia Government in badly need this well resource land for their exploitation and manipulation. I believe those day when arm conflict happen if the negotiation failed.
Wikipedia: Sulu Sultanate, Sabah Dispute