JOLO, Sulu — Even before negotiations with Malaysia had started, several individuals who are seeking a share in the $14.9 billion breakthrough award of the French arbitral court have surfaced.
A high-ranking member of the Sulu Sultanate said the rightful claimants are only those descended from the Kiram lineage of Sultan Jamal Al Alam, who signed the 1878 lease agreement for Sabah British government representative Baron de Overbeck and the British North Borneo Company’s Alfred Dent.
The Sultanate official said that a DNA test might be necessary to authenticate the claimants.
The granddaughter of the Sultan who worked for the filing of the complaint with the international tribunal was authorized by the descendants to pursue the case.
Sherairan Kiram, the granddaughter of Sultan Punjaman Kiram, has tapped the British lawyers who secured the compensation for the Sultanate which Malaysia has disputed.
She is now coordinating with the London-based lawyers to implement the award.
The British High Court in Sandakan, North Borneo decided in 1939, through what is known as the Macaskie Judgement named Datu Punjungan Kiram; Datu Esmail Kiram; Dayang Dayang Sitting Rada Kiram; Dayang Dayang Sitting Mariam Kiram; Dayang Dayang Putlih Jahara Kiram; Princess Tarhata Kiram; Princess Sakinur-Inn Kiram; Dayang Dayang Piandao Kiram and Mora Napsa.
Aside from the 500 or so families who are members of the nine recognized heirs, another warrior clan has stepped forward to stake half of the Sabah ownership.
Lawyers representing the Sangkalang and Angging clan, who were supposedly descendants of generals Nakudas Sangkalang and Angging who led 600 Tausug warriors sent by the Sultan of Sulu to help the Sultan of Brunei to quell a 1704 rebellion said their clients are rightful owners of half of Sabah.
Another self-claimed descendant of the last reigning Sultan of Sulu also surfaced yesterday in Abdurasil Usman Uddin, 65 of Maimbung, Sulu.
Uddin claimed to possess documents to prove that he is the lawful claimant to the rental and proceeds of the Sultanate of Sulu.
Uddin said his father Saab Uddin was the son of Sultan Majingi Uddin, who ruled the Sultanate of Sulu in 1915.
“I am the great-grandson of Sultan Majingi Uddin who was the ruler in 1915,” he boldly claimed.
“I am the legitimate claimant, because I have all the documents in my possession as proof and I also have ancestral land domain title certified by the Philippine government,” he added during an exclusive interview with the Daily Tribune at his residence in Jolo, the capital town of Sulu.
The documents were about to be examined by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chaired then by former senator now President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, according to Uddin.
When asked why only now he came out and presented himself, he said he had been hiding for “fear of my life. Many interested parties would like to kill me, that is why I have to hide,” Uddin claimed.
The Sulu Sultanate official who Daily Tribune talked with, called Uddin a “pretender.”
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