Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sabah: Anomaly Of History

Hantu Laut

The stand-off in a village near Lahad Datu with 100 Suluks from the Philippines who claimed to be the subjects of the Sultan of Sulu may end up with a show down with our  police and military forces. About 20 of the 100  intruders were alleged to be armed with automatic weapons and have refused to return to their homeland claiming that this is their land and their home.

Malaysian police force guarding the vicinity where the gunmen holding off.

The messy affair was the result of historical screw-up by Britain and of her failure to abrogate or let the "Lease Agreement" lapse with the Sultan of Sulu before Sabah become part of Malaysia and a referendum held at that time that Sabahans do not want to be part of the Philippines. 

Similarly, Malaysia should have refused to recognise the agreement as there is no more Sultanate of Sulu in existence. 

In 2003 the International Court of Justice affirmed, indisputably, the Sultan of Sulu relinquished the sovereign rights over all his possessions in favour of Spain, based on "Bases of Peace and Capitulation" signed by Sultan of Sulu and Spain in Jolo on 22 July 1878, but ironically, Malaysia is still paying "cession money" to the heir pretenders of the non-existence Sultanate.

The pretender to the throne and his retinue of advisers.

In 1885, Great Britain,Germany and Spain signed the "Madrid Protocol" whereby Spain relinquished all claim to North Borneo which had belong to the Sulu Sultanate in the past.

The  government of the Philippines do not recognise the Sultanate, but refused to drop the claim on Sabah. 

How British leaders at that time could not have foreseen the repercussion and incredulity of such covenant in perpetuity was a complete abomination knowing they are dealing with unlearned society traditionally believing in the law of the jungle. 

The culprit to the big mess we are in now was an agreement signed not by the British government but by two businessmen of a British commercial syndicate, Alfred Dent, a British and Baron von Overback, an Austrian, which stipulated that North Borneo was either ceded or leased (depending which interpretation is used) to the British syndicate in return for payment of 5000 Malayan Dollar per year.

The agreement was signed on 22 January 1878, about 6 month earlier than the one the Sultan signed with the Spaniards.

On 22 April 1903 Sultan Jamalul Kiram signed another document known as "Confirmation of cession of certain islands" where he granted or ceded additional islands from Banggi to Sibuku Bay to the British North Borneo Company for a sum of 5300 Malayan Dollars a year payable every year.

This agreement and the one signed by Alfred Dent and Baron von Overback formed the basis of the cession of Sabah to the British North Borneo Company and later to the British Crown as colony of the British Empire.

It has now become obvious that the heirs of the late Sultan have no desire to respect the agreement and have reneged on it when they sent 100 of their men to try take back the place bearing arms with  intent to intimidate, coerce and pressure the Malaysian government to accede to their unreasonable demand.

The Malaysian government should put the Philippines government on high alert that we consider the intrusion by a foreign force on our sovereign territory as a declaration of war, unless the Philippines government consider them as terrorists and we will act accordingly to neutralise or eliminate them.

This is what they are, lawless.

Time for negotiation is over, it's time for action.

Can Genghis Khan, the Romans, the Ottomans and many others more reclaimed their lost empires?

It may not be too far-fetched express here that this ugly situation came about because of the RCI.

Sample of the agreement and the two versions are shown below:

The British version:

... hereby grant and cede of our own free and sovereign will to Gustavus Baron de Overbeck of Hong Kong and Alfred Dent Esquire of London...and assigns for ever and in perpetuity all the rights and powers belonging to us over all the territories and lands being tritutary to us on the mainland of the island of Borneo commencing from the Pandassan River
on the north-west coast and extending along the whole east coast as far as the Sibuco River in the south and comprising amongst other the States of Paitan, Sugut, Bangaya, Labuk, Sandakan, Kina Batangan, Mumiang, and all the other territories and states to the southward thereof bordering on Darvel Bay and as far as the Sibuco river with all the islands within three marine leagues of the coast.

The Sulu version:

...do hereby lease of our own freewill and satisfaction to...all the territories and lands being tributary to [us] together with their heirs, associates, successors and assigns forever and until the end of time, all rights and powers which we possess over all territories and lads tributary to us on the mainland of the Island of Borneo, commencing from the Pandassan River on the west coast to Maludu Bay, and extending along the whole east coast as far as Sibuco River on the south,..., and all the other territories and states to the southward thereof bordering on Darvel Bay and as far as the Sibuco River, ..., [9 nautical miles] of the coast.

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