ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - An heir to the Sultanate of Sulu on Friday said that they have sent word to their supporters in Sabah to support the 200 members of the "Royal Army" who have been holed up in Lahad Datu since last week.
Paramount Sultan Ibrahim Bahjin Shakirullah II of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo (now Sabah) said in a statement that they are supporting the "Royal Army" members' assertion of their rights.
“It is the common aspiration of all leadership in the Sultanate to assert our historical rights and ultimately redeem our lost territorial heritage,” Bahjin Shakirullah said.
According to Bahjin Shakirulla, they have already sent words through their emissaries in Sabah appealing to their supporters, who are already residing in Sabah, to give moral, economic, logistic and other forms of help to the 200 members of the Royal Army.
The Royal Army of Sultan Jamalul Kiram have been holed out in Lahad Datu for almost a week now.
Earlier reports said that the Malaysian authorities were allegedly imposing a food blockade around Lahad Datu.
Bahjin Shakirullah stressed that they will never advocate violence and they intend to settle the issue peacefully and within the ethical and legal grounds.
“We do not want to bleed the heart of our brothers who have been in fraternal relationship with us since time immemorial,” Bahjin Shakirullah stated.
The heir also called on all members of the Royal Houses of the Sultanate to decide and take a unified stand on their Sabah claim.
Bahjin was apprehensive that any sultan who will venture to settle the matter alone “may be heading for disastrous end.”
He also reminded that any negotiation on the ownership of Sabah should only involve the Sultanate and Malaysian government. He said the Philippine government and other entities should not be allowed to intervene in the negotiations.