LAHAD DATU: A claimant to the North Borneo Sulu Sultanate is disputing the claim of a Sulu armed group that Sabah was their ancestral homeland.
“My family is the rightful owner of the throne,” said the 45-year-old Lahad Datu businessman Datu Abdul Rajak Aliuddin, who has proclaimed himself as the sixth Sultan of North Borneo.
The controversial Rajak has been detained and charged for burning the Sabah flag and raising the North Borneo Sultanate flag with the lion symbol.
He said that the Sulu armed group led by Raja Muda Azzimudie Kiram, the brother of the Philippines based Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram, had no right to claim Sabah, which was previously known as North Borneo.
“My father Aliuddin Agas was recognised as the fifth Sultan of North Borneo.
“He was one of those who signed the framework for the Malaysia agreement in 1962,” he said, showing documents to back his claim.
He said the Azzimudie group had no right to use the yellow flag with the lion, which was purportedly raised in Kampung Tanduo after they occupied the village at Felda Sahabat 17 from Feb 9.
Azzimudie and more than 100 of his followers, including gunmen in military fatigues, had demanded that Malaysia recognise them as the Royal Sulu Sultanate Army and that no subject of the Sultan of Sulu be deported as Sabah was their ancestral home.
Rajak told reporters here that the occupation of the village of Tanduo was a sandiwara (acting) for political reasons.
He claimed that after the 1863 Brunei rebellion, North Borneo was made an autonomous sultanate with two other autonomous sultanates of Bolongan covering northern Kalimantan and Sulu in southern Philippines.
He said they were all made autonomous, and individual children of the Sultan were given full control of their respective kingdoms.
Even Pahlawan, Tawi Tawi and Siasi in southern Philippines were under the sultanate of North Borneo, he claimed.
Historically, there were numerous claimants to the Sulu Sultanate.
Over the years, claimants to the throne have produced many documents to the media to back their claims.
Last year in Kota Kinabalu, businessman Datu Mohamad Akjan proclaimed himself as the rightful heir of the Sulu Sultanate and held a ceremony to declare himself as Sultan.
Police questioned Akjan after photos of him as the Sultan of Sulu became public.