As of the moment, the Sultanate of Sulu supporters are holed up in Sabah. Surrounded by Malaysian troops. Communication and food lines had been severed. Let’s hope that this ends well without anyone getting hurt. They’ve decided to go there and “reclaim” what to them is “ancestral lands”.
This claim is based on the Sultanate of Sulu’s Sabah (North Borneo) ownership. Marcos was the last president to actively pursue the Sabah claim. As relations between Malaysia and the country improved, this territorial dispute was quietly placed in the back burner by the succeeding administrations.
The Royal Sultanate of Sulu is officially recognized by the Philippine government. While the Malaysians continues to pay lease to the Sultanate of Sulu for Sabah. The amount is said to be in the range of 70 thousand peso. Malaysia is earning billions from this lands natural resources.
After Marcos, the Sabah claim appears to have been unofficially discontinued by the Philippine government. So naturally, the Royal House of Sulu and its followers felt abandoned by their own government.
Why is it that Malacañang remains mum on the events taking place in Sabah?
My concern is that Filipino lives are at stake here. What they did was extreme, but it was symptomatic of how the issue has been left unresolved. I’m in complete disagreement with the action they took but it is what it is – they’re out there and we have to ensure they’re safe. Let’s worry about what’s going to happen next after we get these people out.
Let me mention also that Malaysia’s restraint and patience has been admirable considering that the Sultan’s supporters are armed men. Let’s all hope this continues.
The very lease the government could do here is actively mediate between the Sultanate’s supporters holed up in Sabah and the Malaysians. After all, we allowed the Malaysian government to mediate in our local political issues in the south. Why can’t we do the same for the Sabah claimants?
For further reading (including official documents) on the Sultanate of Sulu, click here
On to a less serious topic. Twitter.
My friend Alas has convinced me to revive my twitter account last week. Honestly, I don’t get it. But I could understand now why it’s popular. It’s interactive. And if you have an app on your phone, you could answer question and share links with your readers instantaneously. I think it’s good if you have followers. Trouble is, I don’t think there’s a lot of them there for me. But hey, it’s free, so I’ll let it float and wait.
If you have twitter, field your questions and comments@soyarnaldo. Or share news, informative links or any good reads.