Sulu Sultanate forces to stay in Sabah despite talks

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RAJAH Muda Agbimuddin Kiram and the fighters of Royal Security Force (RSF) will stay in Sabah even if the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo decides to engage in negotiations with the Malaysian government.

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According to Abraham Idjirani, the Sultanate’s secretary-general, Agbimuddin Kiram has no plans of leaving Sabah, claiming that they own the territory.

Agbimuddin Kiram together with his fighters are still in hiding after the Malaysian government launched an all-out war against them for occupying a portion of Lahad Datu in February last year.

When asked about his condition, Agbimuddin Kiram said that he is in “good health,” adding that they managed to get some food from fellow Filipinos on the island.

The RSF, according to Agbimuddin Kiram, will maintain its defensive stance unless provoked by Malaysian forces.

“We are not going to attack unless they attack us,” he said.

Agbimuddin Kiram led 235 members of the RSF who went to Lahad Datu to repossess Sabah, triggering a standoff with Malaysia.

For his part, Idjirani stressed that Rajah Muda did not leave Sabah and has no plans of returning until they succeed in their goal of repossessing the minerals-rich North Borneo territory.

Sultan Esmail Kiram 2nd, on the other hand, said that they are still studying how to deal with Agbimuddin Kiram if the planned negotiation with Malaysia pushes through.

“We have to study that with the Ruma Bechara [Advisory Council] and decide later,” he added.

The Sultanate has expressed willingness to negotiate with the Malaysian government to solve the dispute over Sabah.

Kiram 2nd said he has approved the recommendation of the Advisory Council of the Sultanate to push for a peaceful and civilized resolution of the Sabah claim.

He directed the chairman of the council to create a negotiating panel preparatory to the formal negotiation of the territorial dispute between the Sultanate of Sulu and the Federation of Malaysia.

The membership of the panel will be announced by the Sultanate in the next few days.

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