Rattled by the uproar over businessman Akjan Ali's proclamation as the new sultan, the interim Sulu government said the 'event' was a 'thanks-giving ceremony'.
KOTA KINABALU: The self-proclaimed interim government of the Sulu Sultanate has stepped back from its earlier proclamation of Akjan Ali Muhammad as the new reigning Sultan of Sulu.
Prime Minister of the interim government Albi Ahmad Julkarnain said in a brief statement yesterday that no coronation had taken place yet of the new sultan.
What had taken place at a recent ceremony held in Kampung Likas here was not the coronation of Akjan as the new reigning sultan of Sulu, but a “majlis doa kesyukuran” (thanks-giving ceremony) on Akjan’s acceptance of the offer and mandate to be the sultan of Sulu, he said.
“We deeply regret that the event has been misconstrued as the coronation of Akjan as our new sultan and was politicised by some quarters.
“The ceremony held in Akjan’s residence here on Feb 2 was a traditional Muslim ritual symbolising that a sultan is the ‘Shadow of Allah’ on earth, and every Muslim should show obedience and respect to Him.
“There was no intention whatsoever to cause any animosity or anxiety among Malaysians, or to violate the laws of Malaysia,” Alibi said.
He added that Akjan is a Muslim religious leader who is a direct descendant of the last reigning sultan of the Sulu Sultanate and it so happened that he is also a citizen of Malaysia.
Akjan is also chairman of Pertubuhan Kebajikan dan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Islamic Welfare and Sermon Organisation of Malaysia or Pekida Malaysia), Sabah division, a supreme council member of Pekida Malaysia, and its international affairs chief.
Albi said that a proper coronation for Akjan would be conducted on a date and venue that would be announced at a later date.
Albi’s clarification comes after a hue and cry was raised by various Sabah leaders following the announcement of the “coronation” complete with photographs of the signing ceremony and Akjan in royal regalia.
Three police reports were lodged against Akjan, who is allegedly an Umno member, by political parties in the state.
The reports also stated that Akjan had at one time been been detained under the Internal Security Act for allegedly being involved in the issuance of Malaysian identity cards to foreigners.
Akjan’s origins have also been questioned. Some claim that he was born in Jambangan Nipah in the southern Philippines island of Jolo on Nov 23, 1957 but holds a MyKad showing he was born in Sabah on July 7, 1957. - FMT