Thursday, February 28, 2013

WAR begins in Sabah Sulu Sultanate with Malaysia - March 1

Sultanate of Sulu & North Borneo Crowned Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin Kiram and his Royal Guard in Lahad Datu, Sabah (North Borneo) photo: ABN news

Violence erupted in Sabah after Malaysian security forces on Friday morning started firing at a group of Filipinos holed up in a village in Sabah, the brother of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III said.

"Nagbabarilan na! Oo, nagbabarilan na!" said Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin Kiram, brother of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, in an interview aired on dzRH. (Gun shots have been fired! Yes, there have been gun shots!), the leader of the group in Sabah, said "Biglang pumasok sa amin (They suddenly came in), they were being shot  so we had to defend ourselves,"

Kiram said the exchange of gunshots has wounded one of their men. "We appeal to the Filipino people, the Tausugs, the (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) to back us up," Kiram told dzRH.

The radio station, through its Twitter account, noted gunshots heard during the interview.

Asked what time the Malaysian forces moved in, Raja said, "oras na ito (at this time)."

Sounds of shots were heard in the background while the interview was being conducted. The interview was cut, however.

The group, which claimed Sabah is their homeland, had landed in Sabah on February 9 and engaged Malaysian forces in a standoff.

Malaysian forces blocked off their food and water supplies but until Friday did not fire on them while waiting for a peaceful resolution to the situation.

On Thursday, Malaysia's The Star online reported the group of armed Filipinos coped with the blockade by living off houses abandoned by local villagers.

However, the report on Thursday said the Filipinos claimed they were "all fine" despite the land and sea blockade by Malaysian security forces.

Call for prayers

In Manila, Kiram's spokesman Abe Idjirani appealed for prayers for a peaceful solution.

Idjirani said the first shot "was done by Malaysian police authorities."

The group and the police had been separated by a 300-meter distance, he said.

In a separate interview on ANC, Sulu Sultanate spokesman Abraham Idjirani confirmed the first shot came from the Malaysian police at around 6 am. He could not confirm injuries due to gunfire, describing initial reports as "sketchy."

Idjirani, however, said they have "apprehensions" about seeking the Philippine government's intercession to end the standoff, especially given the violence.

"Wala pa kaming naiisip na paraan kasi in the previous days, lagi hong sinasabi ng Malacanang na walang sisihan, huwag n'yo kaming sisihin, kung ano mang mangyari ngayon," he said. (We have not yet thought of any means because in the previous days, Malacanang has said we should not blame them for whatever happens.)

Idjirani, however, said the Malaysian police have withdrawn from the area.

With report from Rapple.com and GMA News

UAE: Philippines has ‘solid legal foundation’ to claim Sabah

Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III with his sister at a news briefing Tuesday in Manila. Photo: AFP

Published in Emirates 24/7; A Dubai Online News of Dubai Media Incororated

PH has 'solid legal foundation' to Sabah

A veteran Filipino diplomat has urged the Philippine government to "revisit" its claim to Sabah which has "solid legal foundation" and correct its past mistakes by not playing into Malaysia's hands anymore.

This develops as Manila has asked Kuala Lumpur for another extension—with no definite time but for a few days—to convince the followers of a Filipino sultan in southern Philippines who are holed up in Sabah to leave peacefully.

"The Sabah standoff should rouse the Philippine Rip van Winkle attitude towards our claim to the area," Lauro Baja, formerly the Philippine permanent representative to the United Nations, said. "It provides the country with a unique but sensitive opportunity to revisit our claim."

Media reports on Wednesday night said that Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario has asked Malaysia to extend for an indefinite number of days its deadline for the Filipinos holing up in Sabah's Tanduao village in Lahad Datu town to leave or face arrest and deportation.

Writing for Vera Files' news site on Wednesday night, Baja said the Philippines might be able to correct some missteps in the past through creative imagination and skillful diplomacy.

He said these missteps included moves by former president Ferdinand Marcos in the 1960s of secretly training Moro from southern Philippines to reclaim Sabah and the Philippines accepting a UN-sanctioned referendum that created the Federation of Malaysia.

The covert training held on the Philippine island of Corregidor resulted to an alleged massacre of young Moro recruits by their military handlers after they tried to escape. The referendum creating the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, on the other hand, was eventually accepted by the Philippines where North Borneo became a state of Malaysia known as Sabah. A UN Commission had found that popular opinion was in favour of North Borneo becoming a Malaysian state.

Baja said that President Benigno Aquino III must convene the National Security Council to consider pursuing the country's claim to Sabah on behalf of the Sultanate of Sulu, as the ongoing standoff has far reaching consequences.

"As days pass, the confluence of events makes it imperative that the Philippines now define its policy on Sabah," he stressed. "To continue putting the claim in the backburner is not a policy. This is an illusion, a mirage."

Failure to pursue would mean wasting previous efforts made by the Philippines before the UN and other international forums since the 1960s, he said. It could also mean violating the Philippine Constitution and other rules, as well as a Supreme Court decision declaring that the Philippines has dominion over Sabah.

"The solid legal foundation of our claim still exists," Baja stressed.

He warned the Aquino administration against going along with Malaysia on Sabah, as Kuala Lumpur is applying 'effectivités', or the effectiveness principle, in dealing with the standoff crisis. Effectivités is defined in diplomacy as the conduct of the administrative authorities as proof of the effective exercise of territorial jurisdiction in the region during the colonial period.

Baja said it is understandable how Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III feels as he has claimed that the present administration, like its predecessors, seemed not interested in pursuing the Sabah claim at the diplomatic level.

He noted that in the transfer of sovereignty document signed by the Philippine government and the sultan of Sulu, it was provided that if the former failed in pursuing the Sabah claim the agreement shall be deemed voided.

The sultan's followers, led by his brother, Sulu Crown Prince Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, travelled to Sabah from the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, home to Muslim minority, to stake their claim to the disputed territory.

Malaysia pays a token annual rental fee to the Sultanate of Sulu for Sabah, prompting Philippine Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin to say earlier that the country's claim to Sabah has legal basis.

News source:  read more here in Emirates 24/7 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Holocaust for "No Vietnamese, Philippines and Japanese or Dog" in Beijing Resto

This photo taken on February 26, 2013 shows a Chinese cook working in a restaurant behind a sign that says "This shop does not receive the Japanese, The Philippines, The Vietnamese and Dog" at the historic tourist district of Houhai in Beijing. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON

In 1654  holocoast begun for jews "NO DOGS OR JEWS ALLOWED: The Story of anti-Semitism in America."The story begins in September, 1654, on the day 23 bedraggled, impoverished Jews landed in New Amsterdam, after being expelled from Recife, Brazil when the Portuguese retook the colony from the Dutch. Governor Peter Stuyvesant didn't want them read more here

No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs, is the story of a Black family in the South living under the rigors of racism. Rawl Cheeks is a loving family man devoted to his wife Mattie and children Joyce and Matoka. The Cheeks are a close-knit church going family struggling to make ends meet. In order to supplement their income they allow Yaveni Aaronson, a sociologist, to do research on their family. Yaveni, a Jew, is gathering material, comparing the trials and tribulations faced by the Blacks under racism with that of the suffering of the Jews under racism, both in Europe and in America. (Oregan Coast News Signal) read more here

'No Philippines or dog'

Reported by Rappler.com, a sign at a Beijing restaurant barring citizens of nations involved in maritime disputes with China -- along with dogs -- has triggered a wave of online outrage among Vietnamese and Filipinos.

The Beijing Snacks restaurant near the Forbidden City, a popular tourist spot, has posted a sign on its door reading "This shop does not receive the Japanese, the Philippines, the Vietnamese and dog(s)."

Photographs of the controversial sign have gone viral in Vietnamese-language forums and featured heavily in Philippine newspapers and websites on Wednesday, February 27.

Vietnam's state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper ran a story saying the sign had "ignited online fury". It claimed many Vietnamese feel this is another example of Chinese "extreme nationalism that deserves to be condemned".

"It's not patriotism, it's stupid extremism," Sy Van wrote in Vietnamese in a comment under the story, published on the paper's website.

The sign provoked thousands of posts on Vietnamese social networking sites and newspaper comment threads.

"This is teaching hate to the younger generation," Facebook user Andrea Wanderer wrote in Vietnamese. "The owner of the restaurant has obviously been brainwashed by their government," added Facebook user Chung Pham.

photo from personal.anderson.ucla.edu

Filipinos greeted the photo with a mixture of fury and amusement.

"Blatant racism at Beijing Restaurant," journalist Veronica Pedrosa wrote in one widely-shared tweet, while Facebook user Rey Garcia used a comment thread on a news site to retort: "Who cares, they almost cook everything, even foetus and fingernails."

With report from Rapller.com

Who is Aquino’s adviser on Sabah issue?

Philippine President Benigno Aquino asks Sultan Jamalul Kiram III to withdraw his supporters from Sabah during a press briefing at the Malacanang Palace, in Manila, on Tuesday. Photo: EPA

On Sabah, President Aquino several times spoke of peace. Yet, the language he used reeks of arrogance that could only come from ignorance of the root of the issue.'

IN his Facebook wall, Cotabato-based Fr. Eliseo Mercado of the Institute for Autonomy and Governance in Notre Dame University yesterday said, "After the President's press statement on the Sabah issue, I am continued to be deluged with the question: 'Who is the adviser of the President on the Sabah issue?'

"Sagot ko: Ambot... baka ang Malaysian PM. From the tone and the content would show that he/she is either Malaysian or Malaysian-Philippine."

In his statement, which came on the second week of the standoff in Lahad Datu, a seaside village in Sabah, President Aquino several times spoke of peace. Yet, the language he used reeks of arrogance that could only come from ignorance of the root of the issue.

He described the cause that the Sultan of Sulu Jamalul Kiram III and his younger brother Prince Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin Kiram, who is the leader of the group in Lahad Datu as a "hopeless cause."

Addressing Kiram, Aquino said: "You are a leader of your clan, and every leader seeks the well-being of his constituents. These times require you to use your influence to prevail on our countrymen to desist from this hopeless cause."

Does this mean the Aquino government has given up the Philippine government's claim on Sabah?

In his statement, Aquino seemed not sure about the legitimacy of the Philippine claim which was initiated in the 1960's. He said: "This issue is complex: from the basis of our claim, to the question of the rightful heirs, and even involving the translation of documents from an era when our grandparents weren't even born."

Responding to the President's statement, Kiram III, though his daughter Princess Jacel Kiram, said: "Mr. President, what more proof do you want us to show that Sabah is ours?"

This standoff came about because the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu decided to do it their way after Malacañang snubbed Kiram's request for a meeting.

Aquino revealed this in his statement: "Let me say to Sultan Jamalul Kiram III: I have just been made aware that a letter to me, from you, was sent through OPAPP in the very first weeks of my term, when we were organizing the government. Unfortunately, this letter was lost in the bureaucratic maze. Let me make clear that there was no intention to ignore your letter. Knowing this now, will you let your mistaken belief dictate your course of action?"

Aquino also said, "The avenue of peaceful and open dialogue is still available to us. Let us therefore sit down as brothers to address your grievances in a peaceful, calm manner according to our laws and according to correct processes when your people arrive home."

Yet in the same statement he warned Kiram that his patience is running out:

"As President and chief executor of our laws, I have tasked an investigation into possible violations of laws by you, your followers, and collaborators engaged in this foolhardy act. May I remind you as well that as a citizen of the Republic, you are bound by the constitution and its laws.

"Among your possible violations is Article II Section 2 of the Constitution, which states that the Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, the enabling law of which is Article 118 of the Revised Penal Code, which punishes those who "provoke or give occasion for a war...or expose Filipino citizens to reprisals on their persons or property."[1] Thus, you are now fully aware of the consequences of your actions."

"We have not yet reached the point of no return, but we are fast approaching that point."

To which Kiram stood firm: "As far as we are concerned, we haven't committed a crime."

But he also talked about peace: "The sultan of Sulu's action is a benevolent aspiration and not a violent reaction to fight."

Will the real diplomats please take over? (http://bit.ly/ZA6W5l)

Malaya

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

'Deadline' lapses for Sulu Royal Army in Sabah “This is our land” NO LEAVING – Food still flows in

Sulu sultan scoffs at PNoy's warning, remains defiant. Sitti Krishna Idjirami (left) sister of Jamalul Kiram III (center), the 74-year-old Sultan of Sulu, and Crown Prince Bantillan Kiram (right) speak at a press conference in Manila on Tuesday. President Benigno Aquino III has warned Jamalul Kiram III that he would face the 'full force of the law' if he did not withdraw his gunmen from Sabah, Malaysia, but the elderly ruler remained defiant. AFP/Ted Aljibe

A group of the Sulu Sultanate crowned Prince Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, brother of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, remained defiant after a restless Tuesday night in Sabah as the midnight "deadline" for their surrender lapsed, they also said early Wednesday that they are running out of food.

"We are ... poised to retaliate," Kiram said in an interview on dzBB radio, adding he received text messages from "sympathizers" Tuesday night that the deadline was nearing.

On Tuesday, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Raul Hernandez was quoted by Balita as saying DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario has requested Malaysia to extend the deadline until Tuesday midnight as Manila continues to persuade the group to leave peacefully.

But when asked if Malaysian authorities moved in when the "deadline" lapsed, Kiram said nothing happened.

"Walang nangyari (Nothing happened)," he said.

He also said that while they managed to get some sleep, they had to take shifts to keep watch.

'Negotiations'

For now, he said they are open to "negotiations" with Malaysian authorities, and may ask them to "respect human rights" and allow their sympathizers to bring them food.

"They must also allow sympathizers, not to stop them from coming to bring us food," he said.

He said they have been running out of food.

Kiram also said they are willing to listen to Foreign Affairs official Jose Brillantes if he meets with them.

No bigtime funding

On the other hand, Kiram insisted no one funded their trip to Sabah.

President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday had said the group may have had "collaborators" and wanted them investigated.

"Walang gumagastos sa amin. This is self-reliance," he said.

Malaysian police to resolve 'intrusion' soonest

On Tuesday, Malaysian police said the "intrusion" will be resolved soonest, and advised the public not to be worried.

Deputy Inspector General Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar was quoted in a report by Malaysia's Bernama news agency as saying the episode since Feb. 12 will be resolved.

"We will end the present standoff and I advise people not to worry. God willing, we will solve the matter as soon as possible," he said.

 

He refused to comment on supposed "negotiations."

Never back-down

In a telephone conversation with The Star, Azzimudie said his group was ready to face an attack.

"We are fine. We expect the Malaysian forces to attack today (Tuesday). We are ready to defend ourselves, we are not afraid," he said.

Asked why he thought the group would be attacked, he replied: "Because it is shown on TV and was in the radio that the deadline is over. We are not afraid because we know we are right. This is our land."

Asked if he was not afraid as he only had about 30 armed men, Azzimudie said: "We are prepared, we are waiting. We will not attack (but) we will defend ourselves."

Azzimudie, who has also been in telephone contact with his brother, had stated that he would only take orders from Jamalul Kiram.

In the meantime, the secretary-general of the sultanate, Abraham Idjirani, said that the group rejected Aquino's appeal to return to the Philippines.

After keeping the Sulu patriots encircled for nearly three weeks, Malaysian security forces, who had been waiting for an order to disarm the group, made their presence at several strategic locations in and outside the surrounding Felda plantations yesterday.

Government and army medical teams are on standby should the green light be given to deport the Sulu group.

Asked if the move against the Sulu Sultanate crowned Prince Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram will be made within the next 24 hours, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said: "Maybe. We are set to end the stand-off."

In a nationally televised statement from Malacanang, Aquino appealed to the Sulu Sultan to end the stand-off peacefully or face the full force of the law.

He said: "The point of no return has not been reached yet, but we are approaching that (time) fast."

Stating that there were 180 people in the Sulu Sultanate crowned Prince Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, with about 20 to 30 armed, Aquino warned that as citizens of the Philippines, they were bound by its laws and the constitution which renounces war as an instrument of national policy.

With report from GMA News and the Star Online- Malaysia

MNLF - ready for WAR for SULTAN KIRAM; cited Aquino would face the court for selling the Philippines

MNLF men on alert as Sabah deadline nears

The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) has alerted placed all its fighters in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi as tension mounted between the 235 followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III and Malaysian security forces in Lahad, Sabah.

Relatedly, the Malaysian national government, has taken over from the Sabah prefectorate the lead role in resolving the almost three-week long Lahad Datu crisis as the extended  deadline for the followers of Sulu Sultanate to leave and return peacefully to the Philippines is about to lapse.

The deadlines was set at Tuesday night.

"Wait and see kami. Our  forces in Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan and its islands are in full red alert and ready once the situation (in Lahad Datu)  worsen," Haji Gapul Hajirul, MNLF political officer said.

The MNLF, through Hajirul, issued this statement after the group adopted a resolution of the Sultanate of Sulu calling on the United Nations to send a peacekeeping force to Sabah to prevent bloodshed between the Sultanate forces and the Malaysian authorities.

Hajirul also bared that armed civilians in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi are very eager to enter Sabah to support the Sultan's followers.

This confirmed earlier ground monitoring by intelligence sources that groups of armed Tausogs have assembled in several areas, waiting for an opportunity to enter Sabah. These civilians reportedly are relatives of the sultanate's men now holed up in a shoreline village in Lahad Datu.

"The only thing that prevents these armed civilian groups from swarming to Sabah is the naval blockade being enforced by the Philippine Navy (PN)," a source from Sulu said.

At least six naval gunboats are currently imposing the naval blockade the prevent undocumented Filipinos from going to Sabah due to the prevailing security situation in Sabah.

The MNLF, meanwhile, said that President Aquino's statement warning Sultan Jamalul Kiram III may have aggravated the situation.

"By the action shown by PNoy, it's far from the peaceful solution. Siya ang dapat makasuhan dahil ipinagbili na niya ang Pilipinas," Hajirul said.

Kiram thanks PNoy

Kiram, meanwhile, said that he is thankful for Aquino's concern for him.

"For the first time, we thank the President for his official pronouncement on the standoff in Sabah and we are happy that he is officially aware of the issue now. You will note that emissaries sent to us have been denied by Malacanang in the first four days of the issue and that those emissaries sent were not diplomatic people but rather political and military officials," the Sultan said in a press statement.

He added: "Mr. President what more proof do you want us to show that Sabah is ours? By the mere fact that Malaysia is paying us annually in the amount of 5,300 Malaysia ringgit, it is not enough?"

He said that aside from the late President Diosdado Macapagal, the late strongman, Ferdinand Marcos, has in fact solicited the authority from the Sultan of Sulu and also given the special power of attorney to pursue the claim.

This, the Sultan said, erases doubts on the diplomatic recognition of the Philippine government to the Sultanate of Sulu as the rightrul owner of North Borneo.

He also stressed that he has not committed any crime when he permitted his brother, Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, to enter Lahad Datu with armed security men.

"History proves that the Sultan of Sulu has never been involved in any violence in its quest for justice. As far as we are concerned we havent' committed  a crime," the Sultan said, adding that the action is a benevolent aspiration and not a violent reaction to fight for what is historically, legally and morally right. (http://bit.ly/13OtvE8)

philSTAR

Monday, February 25, 2013

Tulfo: Stand-off in Sabah with Sulu Royal Army is Malaysia’s ‘karma’

Stand-off is Malaysia's 'karma'

The whole saga is a "karma" on Malaysia for its clandestine role in supporting the Muslim Sulu insurgence against Manila government in southern Mindanao, says Tulfo.

KOTA KINABALU: Philippines dailies are having a field day reporting on the 'invasion' Sabah's east-coast town of Lahad Datu by men claiming to be members of the "Royal Sulu Sultanate army".

One writer by the name of Ramon Tulfo of the Philippine Daily Inquirer recently wrote that the whole saga was a "karma" on Malaysia for its clandestine role in supporting the Muslim Sulu insurgence against Manila government in southern Mindanao in the 1970s and 1980s.

"When the (Philippines) government was fighting the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) in the 1970s through the 1980s, Malaysia was secretly supporting the rebellion in the South. Weapons coming from Libya and other Middle East countries passed through Malaysia on their way to the MNLF.

"Now, it seems the shoe is on the other foot. The law of karma is being played out," wrote Tulfo.

The Sulu men called Tausugs entered Sabah's coast about two weeks ago armed with automatic weapons, seeking Malaysian's recognition to establish their own territory under the name of their Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram.

The Sultan himself, sometimes reportedly making statement from a hospital bed in Manila, said there are in fact 400 of his men in the state and that if they are armed, the arms were already in Sabah prior to their arrival, according to sources, made possible via a tourist boat!

Now if the Sultan's version is to be the correct one, where are the remaining 300 or so Sulu army soldiers now? Does this give credence to earlier rumours that they had made it to Kota Kinabalu and even set a cell in Keningau?

Tulfo argued that Malaysia is in no-win situation from the current stand-off in Lahad Datu.

"If Malaysia is clumsy about handling the Sabah stand-off, it will have the same problem the Philippine government had when it fought a Muslim rebellion in the South in the 1970s up to the 1980s," he warned.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer writer observed that "Malaysia is in a no-win situation as a result of the stand- off in Sabah. If it uses deadly force on a small group of armed Filipino Muslims now holed up in the village of Tanduo in Lahad Datu town in Sabah, members of the fiercest of Philippine Moro tribe, the Tausogs of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, will retaliate.

Map of of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo. photo: economist.com

"If, on the other hand, Malaysia compromises with the armed group purportedly belonging to the Sultanate of Sulu, it will be perceived as a weakling by its neighbors.

"Which will Malaysia choose, fighting a rebellion in the Sabah state or swallowing its pride and compromise with the Sultanate of Sulu?"

Tulfo said it would be better for Malaysia to be perceived as a weakling rather than have a bloody civil war in Sabah.

"Tausugs love to fight and look for reasons to pick a fight. It's very easy for armed Tausugs to enter Sabah and wage a guerrilla war against the Malaysian government should hostilities break out between the Sultanate group and Malaysian police.

"If Malaysia assumes a violent stance against the Sulu Sultanate group, the Tausugs will have a reason to fight them," he said adding that more from the southern Philippines would enter Sabah's wide coastline to be with their brothers.

Revolt in Sabah

Malaysia, meanwhile, is on the verge of a general election and its security force, especially the police, are already gearing for a possible chaos or even violence by groups already alleging vote-rigging by the ruling the Umno-led Barisan Nasional coalition.

There is no record of the number of Filipinos, mostly Tausugs, in Sabah, but a former Philippine military intelligence official once estimated that up to a third of the population in the Malaysian state is Tausug.

"Many of the people in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi have relatives in Sabah, which is just one hour by speedboat from Simunul in Tawi-Tawi. If the Tausugs in Sabah rise up in revolt against the Malaysian government, their relatives in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi will go to Sabah and fight with them.

"And to the Tausugs, the claim of the group purporting to represent the Sultanate of Sulu that Sabah belongs to the sultanate is legitimate," further opined by Tulfo adding that the Sulu Sultanate, long dormant and somewhat forgotten because of the war waged by the Tausug-led MNLF against the government, is still revered by Moros in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Tulfo said that the Tausugs respect the Sultan of Sulu in much the same way Malaysians pay homage to their royal family.

"If harm is done to Rajah Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, brother of Sultan Jamalul Kiram, who ordered the Muda Agbimuddin to enter Sabah, his fellow Tausugs in Sabah and in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi will take up arms against the Malaysian government.

"Filipino Muslims declare a "rido" or vendetta against people who harm their relatives. The "rido" has set off feuds between families or clans that last for decades," he said.

Most of the Tausogs in Sabah have relatives in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi who are ready to take revenge if harm is done to Rajah Muda Agbimuddin Kiram and his armed followers in Lahad Datu town, he further wrote.

Tulfo also claimed that his sources within the Sulu fraternity told him that even before the landing of the about 200 men in Lahad Datu two weeks ago, the sultanate had already sent armed men in small groups to Sabah to escape notice of the authorities.

"The armed groups are being coddled by Tausugs in the Malaysian state. The sea border between Sabah and the Philippines is porous or easily penetrated. Most of the tens of thousands of Filipino illegal immigrants in Sabah entered through this porous border…" he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian authorities who say they are in control of the tense stand-off within a palm oil plantation in Tandiau, Lahad Datu, have cordoned the whole perimeter and declared curfew around it, making it impossible to come near the site.

Reporters were barred from entering and those brave enough to seek their own way like the al-Jazeera investigative team who tried to reach the village by boat were detained for several hours for questioning.

Both Manila and Kuala Lumpur are still negotiating for a safe passage home for these Sulu armed men and women, and pressure is mounting on the Malaysian security forces to end the stand-off.

While they know it must end sooner or later, Sabahans are angry with the way the authorities are pussy-footing around the issue.

Opposition leaders from State Reform Party (STAR) and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) have both accused the Federal government of having failed to protect the safety and security of the state and Sabahans. – Free Malaysia Today Online News

FMT News

Pres. Aquino warns 12 years IMPRISONMENT for the Sulu Sultan Kiram over stand-off with Malaysia

Sultanate of Sulu and Borneo - Malaysia standoff in Sabah

President Benigno Aquino III asked a royal Muslim clan leader in the southern Philippines to order his followers to withdraw as soon as possible from Malaysian land they claim as their own, warning Tuesday of legal action against them and potential trouble.

Speaking on national television, Aquino told Sultan Jamalul Kiram III that his group of 180 followers led by his younger brother and including up to 30 armed men was risking a violent end to a two-week standoff by insisting on holding out. Kiram's sultanate has been claiming the land in a coastal village in Lahad Datu district in Malaysia's eastern Sabah state for nearly a century.

Malaysian Government lease payment for Sabah to the Sultanate of Sulu in 2003

Malaysian Government lease payment for Sabah to the Sultanate of Sulu in 2004

"We have not yet reached the point of no return, but we are fast approaching that point," Aquino said, calling the action by Kiram's followers a "foolhardy act" that was bound to fail.

Aquino's remarks elevated the Sabah territorial issue, which has been a thorn in Philippine-Malaysian relations for decades, to a Philippine national security concern. The crisis erupted at a crucial stage of peace negotiations — brokered by Malaysia — between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the largest Muslim rebel group in the southern Philippines.

Kiram's followers secretly traveled by boat early this month to Lahad Datu, where he said many of their Filipino relatives had resettled for years, to fortify his clan's claims on Sabah. It is a resource-rich Malaysian region where many mostly Muslim Filipinos have relocated in search of jobs and opportunities and to escape poverty and the decades-long Muslim rebellion in the southern Philippines.

Malaysian authorities, however, regard them as armed intruders and ordered them to immediately leave or face eviction. Malaysian police have surrounded Kiram's followers in Lahad Datu and gave them until late Tuesday to leave, suggesting they would be forcibly removed.

Aquino said that Kiram and his followers would be investigated, along with possible collaborators, suggesting the incident may have been an act to undermine the Philippine government. He warned Kiram and his followers of possible legal action if they continued to defy orders to withdraw from Lahad Datu.

He warned Kiram that he had also ordered an investigation "into possible violations of laws by you, your followers, and collaborators engaged in this foolhardy act".

Aquino cited a constitutional provision renouncing war as an instrument of policy and a law prohibiting citizens against inciting war, which is punishable by up to 12 years in prison.

Kiram's followers made a boat trip from their homes on remote islands in the southern Philippines to occupy the Malaysian fishing village two weeks ago, after the sultan gave them a blessing to live there.

"If you choose not to cooperate, the full force of the laws of the state will be used to achieve justice for all who have been put in harm's way," Aquino said.

Philippine and Malaysian authorities have said that the group's demands should be addressed through diplomatic channels.

The Philippines notified Malaysia over the weekend that it has deployed a navy ship, which would stay off Lahad Datu while talks to persuade the Filipinos to return home continue. The ship departed Sunday night with an entourage including social workers and medical personnel.

With report from ABC News, Star online Malaysia and AFP

Sultanate of Sulu Prince Death penalty for entering back the territory- Sabah: Hiew King Cheu’s demand

CLOSE-UP VIEW Malaysia's Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein uses a pair of binoculars to view Tanduao village, where armed Filipinos from Sulu are holed up near Lahad Datu, during his visit on Tuesday. Followers of the sultan of Sulu who crossed to the Malaysian state of Sabah this month, have said they are reclaiming the area as their ancestral territory, the sultan said on Sunday amid a tense standoff. AFP

The peaceful group of the "Crowned Prince of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo" entering back their territory makes the Chinese origin Sabah chief-cum-member Hiew King Cheu insecure of their presence in the territory and demanding for a death penalty for the Prince and his group for entering and claiming back their leased territory to Malaysia.

Chief-cum-member Hiew King Cheu also blamed the incompetency of their military force for allowing the group to enter Sabah undetected.

A comment from the unverified source, an insider of the Royal Malaysian Navy in Sabah who refused to be named said the group where the Crowned Prince of the Sultanate of Sulu and his armed guards boarded were already detected when they entered the Sabah waters but they did not board the ship r knowing that the Prince is aboard with his armed guards. "As a respect for the Prince, we did not block them" he said.

Other Muslim countries start criticizing Malaysia, a Muslim country for taking advantage for the weakness of the Islamic Sultanate of Sulu and for depriving the Royal Family's territorial rights. Malaysia is Haram حرم. "Good Muslim must not take advantage for the weakness of the other Muslim just because of Money" as commented in a website.

Reported in the Daily Express, a Malaysian Independent News paper, "DAP queries if some in the armed group have Mykad"

MyKad is a biometric compulsory identity document for Malaysian citizens aged 12 and above. Introduced by the National Registration Department of Malaysia on 5 September 2001 as one of four MSC Malaysia flagship applications and a replacement for the High Quality Identity Card (Kad Pengenalan Bermutu Tinggi)

Malaysia's Sabah (North Borneo) lease payment to the Sultanate of Sulu (evidence) 2003

In Kota Kinabalu (KK): Sabah DAP urged the authorities to ascertain whether it is true that some among the Filipino guard of the Crowned Prince of Sultanate of Sulu holed up in Kg Tanduo, in Lahad Datu, are actually MyKad holders.

Its Sabah chief-cum-Member of Parliament, Hiew King Cheu, said if true, then some of them are actually Malaysians regardless of how they obtained the document.

He also said many people are still puzzled how the group estimated at between 200 and 400 managed to get through the layers of Malaysian defence, namely the marine patrols, the MMEA and the army.

"According to people in Lahad Datu, the usual passenger number on these speedboats smuggling people is not more than 30.

"If even 150 militants landed, that means at least 5 speedboats had to do the dropping off. How come our Forces did not detect them?" he asked, adding this suggested that they are already in Sabah and that probably hundreds of thousands of them now have Mykad.

The group is said to have landed on Feb. 9 and have demanded that Malaysia recognize them as the Royal Sulu Sultanate army and for Malaysia to promise not to deport the Suluk illegals "because Sabah still belongs to the Sulu sultanate." He said the impression to the outside world is one of our Forces being bullied by a small bunch of militants from a defunct sultanate.

He said this is despite the Government having spent billions of Ringgit to equip the army, navy, air force and police with weapons, armored vehicles, helicopters, fighter planes, warships and submarines.

"The negotiations have going on for too long and are becoming very fishy as it is now more than two weeks," he said.

Malaysia's Sabah (North Borneo) lease payment to the Sultanate of Sulu (evidence) 2004

"This is a lame approach by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to protect our national dignity and sovereignty. It just shows BN's complete weakness in handling a serious emergency situation.

"Their action should have been swift and decisive to demonstrate our security forces strength and power."

He said the security forces should have forced the intruders to surrender and put them behind bars under the country's law for entering Malaysia with deadly weapons.

"Under the law those having 'unlawful possession of firearms' in contravention of the Arms Act 1960 is punishable by death penalty, imprisonment for life or 10-14 years imprisonment with whipping with not less than six strokes of the rotan depending on the case," he said.

He said the patience of villagers are running thin as they were barred from entering their own village and back to their homes, while details of the so-called "negotiations" are withheld from public knowledge.

He said the present standoff is in stark contrast to the 1985 tragedy when armed men dressed in military fatigues fired randomly in public killing 11 people, while injuring others before robbing RM200,000 from a bank and a Malaysia Airlines Office in Lahad Datu.

In that incident, the security forces chased the attackers right to the border islands where they were believed to have come from.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

DFA Philippines sends mercy ship to North Borneo

AFP © Philippines sends mercy ship to Malaysia

MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines was Sunday night preparing to send a mercy ship to pick up scores of followers of a Filipino sultan who entered the Malaysian state of Sabah to press his territorial claims, the foreign office said.

The "humanitarian ship" was to depart the southern-most Philippine island province of Tawi-Tawi before midnight and head to Lahad Datu on Borneo island, where dozens of followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram have been locked in a tense stand-off with Malaysian authorities for two weeks.

The Filipinos have been holed up in a small coastal area of Lahad Datu town, where they have remained surrounded by security forces since February 12 as they pursue their claim to settle in the state, which used to be a part of the Sultanate of Sulu.

"As we have stated on countless occasions previously, we call on the entire group to go back to their homes and families, even at the same time, we are addressing the core issues they have raised," Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a statement.

"Please do so for your own safety," he added.

Aboard the mercy ship were Filipino Muslim leaders, social workers and medical personnel, del Rosario's statement said, stressing that the government "was deeply concerned" about the presence of women among the group.

The ship was due to drop anchor offshore as talks to convince the group to withdraw peacefully continued, the statement said.

The Philippines informed Malaysia through its embassy in Manila of the move on Saturday, it added.

Malaysian foreign minister Anifah Aman told AFP he had "yet to be informed on this matter". Ministry officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Del Rosario's statement said the group numbered some 180, with 30 armed escorts, although the sultan's spokesman, Abraham Idjirani, last week put the figure at 400, including 20 bearing arms.

Idjirani said the sultan had given the Filipinos his blessing to reside in Sabah and they were determined to resist efforts to expel them.

The Islamic Sultanate of Sulu once controlled parts of Borneo, including the site of the stand-off, as well as southern Philippine islands.

The sultanate leased northern Borneo to Europeans in the 1870s. While the sultanate's authority gradually faded as Western colonial powers exerted their influence over the region, it continued to receive lease payments for Sabah.

Heirs to the sultanate still receive nominal annual compensation from Malaysia under a long-standing agreement. One of the demands from the sultan's followers is an increase in the amount of compensation paid. (http://yhoo.it/15I5WQW)

Yahoo Australia

Sabah stand-off: Malaysia Imposes Trade Embargo On Filipinos

BONGAO, Tawi-Tawi – The Malaysian government has started to impose a trade embargo on Muslim Filipino traders from southern Philippines as part of their efforts to force fighters of Sultan Jamalul Kiram to leave Kampung Tanduo in Felda Sahabat 17 in Sabah, where they have been holed up since Feb. 9.

Gov. Sadikul Sahali said the embargo that the Sabah government is imposing on Muslim traders from Southern Philippines would greatly affect his constituents here.

Sahali said many residents in the province depend on Malay food products and other prime commodities particularly rice for their basic needs.

Local traders and stores sell Malaysian rice at 470 per 25-kilo sack of rice while Philippine-produced rice with the same variety sells for 1,100 to 1,200 per sack of 25 kilos.

Many people here are expected to suffer economically as a result of the trade embargo, a trader in this capital town said.

"I have to admit that our people here are using and consuming Malaysian products. This is because of our nearness to the federal state of Malaysia and the prices of their foodstuffs are lower compared to the products sold in the country," an elderly resident here said.

Likewise he said, many residents of Sulu go to Sabah to seek greener pastures. Job opportunities in that state are unlimited unlike in the province or even the entire Philippines, he added.

Sahali said if Sabah continues to impose a ban on trading with them, he will simply ask traders here to get their rice and other food supplies in Zamboanga City.

"Never mind the price. What is important is that we will be able to have rice for the consumption of the people here," he said.

Meanwhile, the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo led by Sultan Jamalul Kiram III intensified yesterday its reaching out to the world community, this time to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Abraham J. Idjirani, officially appointed by Kiram III as the royal spokesperson of the sultanate, said yesterday the Sultan wrote a letter of appeal to the ICRC on Saturday.

He said Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman Richard "Dick" Gordon has agreed to forward the Sultan's letter to the ICRC.

"The letter of the Sultan was given Sunday morning" to Gordon, Idjirani said.

As this developed, Idjirani said in an interview yesterday the stand of the Sultan is still the same: no pulling out from Lahad Datu, Sabah.

"Unless there is a dialogue with Malaysia, there are no plans to return to the Philippines," he said.

Kiram III has also sent words to his people in Lahad Datu to "remain cool" and avoid provocations.

Idjirani said Kiram III appealed for help from the ICRC in the wake of information from Rajah Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, the crown prince, who, along with over 200 of the sultanate's men, are still encamped since Feb. 12 in Kampung Tanduao, Lahad Datu.

Idjirani said at least two of the rajah muda's men have fallen ill.

"It is nothing serious as of the moment," he said, "but it is important the overall health or condition of the crown prince's people is known through the ICRC," said Idjirani.

The food embargo being imposed by the Malaysian government which started on Wednesday, he said, is still in effect.

So, it is not remote, he said, that some of the Moros who belong to the sultan's followers still holed up in Lahad Datu will get sick.

Earlier, Idjirani appealed to the Malaysian authorities to lift the food blockade, especially since forcing people to go hungry violates the tenets of Islam, which both Malaysians and Muslim Filipinos equally respect and observe.

On the other hand, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) led by founding Chairman Nur Misuari also appealed to the UN to send its peacekeeping force to Sabah to prevent any violence from breaking out.

Over 2,000 MNLF leaders and commanders made the appeal through a resolution issued on Feb. 21 during the "MNLF Leadership Meeting" that Misuari convened in Zamboanga City.

In a separate interview, the MNLF chieftain appealed to the Malaysian prime minister to solve the current crisis "in a fraternal way" to prevent bloodshed.

At the same time, Misuari warned that the MNLF will help the rajah muda's men even if only a drop their blood is spilled.

Over in Malaysia, the Home Ministry deferred to the Wisma Putra (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) in making a decision on the Philippine request for an extension of the deadline on the stay of the Filipinos in the Sabah standoff.

In an article on the New Straits Times online edition dated Feb. 24, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein objected to an extension that is "too long" should there be one.

"What is important is that we will not compromise on the country's safety and the dignity of the people in resolving the matter peacefully," he said.

He said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hanifah Aman had called him on the phone. Malaysia described the sultan's men as "intruders."

On the other hand, Kiram III said he sent his younger brother (Agbimuddin) and their followers on a journey home to Sabah to establish their ancestral rights on the island.

Malaysia's deadline for the Filipinos to pull out peacefully has been extended a few times already.

Meanwhile, at least the Malaysian government has acknowledged that the sultan's descendants involved in the crisis are not members of Abu Sayyaf.

"The people should understand that the situation there is rather complex and view it in perspective as it differs from other cases involving al-Maunah, Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiah. The intruders in Lahad Datu are not militants or terrorists," said the home minister.

Meanwhile, Deputy Presidential Spokeswoman Abigail Valte said the Philippine government is focused on efforts to peacefully resolve the conflict involving a group of armed Filipinos holed up in Sabah rather than proposals to revive the claim over the ancestral land.

She said the matter of pursuing the Sabah claim will be tackled "at the proper time" without harming the country's relations with Malaysia.

She said a government team is now looking into the "historical and legal context" of the country's claim over Sabah. (With a report from Genalyn D. Kabiling) (http://bit.ly/WcMkmo)

Manila Bulletin 

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