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Saturday, December 31, 2011

‘Sultan’ who’s an embarrassment to Putrajaya


Mohd Akjan is proving to be more of an ignoramus than a legitimate claimant to the Sulu throne, displaying little knowledge about the Malay sultanates.
KOTA KINABALU: Mohd Akjan Ali Muhammad, who won 15 minutes of fame by crowning himself as the 33rd Sultan of Sulu on Feb 2, 2011 is an embarrassment for Putrajaya that isn’t going away, anywhere, anytime soon.
For one, he’s yet to be brought to Court on charges of having dual citizenship and being allegedly linked to the infamous Projek IC or Projek Mahathir. There are numerous police reports against him but the investigation file opened on him is reportedly in Bukit Aman and not in Sabah.
A chance encounter with him on Christmas day at his lawyer’s house in Kota Kinabalu provided a certain measure of the man. He blinked and eventually beat a hasty retreat but not without managing the lame excuse: “You don’t know anything. Sabah is different.”
When asked where he was really born, Akjan appeared taken aback albeit momentarily but managed to regain his composure and replied: “Kudat.”
His Malaysian identity card No: 570707-12-6083 states he was born in Kampung Limau-Limauan, Kudat on July 7, 1957. Ajkan may in fact be one of nearly two million refugees or illegal immigrants who fled civil war in Mindanao and came to Sabah.
Nearly all are Muslims, and they make up a substantial part of Sabah’s population, estimated to be at 3.2 million in 2005.
At the time of his so-called coronation/installation, the opposition in Sabah alleged that Akjan was actually born in the Philippines, in Jambangan, Nipah-Nipah, on Nov 23, 1957 just like thousands of others in Sabah who were born elsewhere but managed to secure local birth certificates. The rest is history for the proposed Royal Commission of Inquiry.
For a man who claims to be Sultan, Akjan is appallingly ignorant of the origin of Muslim sultanates.He’s equally ignorant of the fact that sultanates in the islands of Southeast Asia were “Kerajaan Sungei” (riverine kingdoms) and not territorial in the western sense.
The riverine kingdoms confined themselves to collecting tolls along the main waterways.
Self-centered character
Sulu, in Akjan’s language, includes Sabah. It would be kinder to skip all the sarcasms that readily come to mind on this mother of all hypes this side of Iraq. Nevertheless, the issue needs to be addressed at least in brief.
The Philippines’ claim to Sabah does not cover the whole state but only the eastern and the northern third which the Sultan of Brunei handed over to the Sulu Sultanate in return for military help during a power struggle in the palace.
In reality, what the Sultan of Brunei gave the Sulu Sultanate was not territory but the right to collect toll along the main waterways. The Brunei Sultan granted similar rights along the west coast of Sabah to the local Datuk Pengiran (Brunei Malays), who in turn sub-contracted these rights to the Datuk Panglima (Dusun Chiefs).
Akjan rubbished the Mackasie Declaration of Dec 13, 1939 by the High Court of Borneo in Sandakan in Civil Suit No. 169/39.
C F Mackasie, the then Chief Justice of Borneo, ruled that nine Plaintiffs were heirs of the defunct Sultanate of Sulu and were entitled to the yearly RM5,000 cession monies from the Malaysian Government.
The nine were listed as Dayang Piandao Kiram, Princess Tarhata Kiram, Princess Sakinur Kiram, Sultan Ismael Kiram, Sultan Punjungan Kiram, Sitti Rada Kiram, Sitti Jahara Kiram, Sitti Mariam Kiram and Mora Napsa. Akjan has claimed no link with the nine Plaintiffs.
When asked where the sovereignty of a people came from, Akjan appeared completely at a loss on the concept but being the survivor that he is, he bounced back with a non-committal: “You are not thinking like us (the Suluks).”
There’s no doubt that this Akjan is a character full of himself. This must make anyone who knows him wonder just exactly where his ability to put on a brave front is coming from. If the rumours are to be believed, he can walk in and out of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s home and office. He has also ostensibly been extended the same privilege by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein Onn, the PM’s first cousin.
Contempt of Court
In Kota Kinabalu, again if the stories are to be believed, Akjan is just waiting for another fellow Suluk – Federal Rural Development Minister Shafie Apdal – to be the next Chief Minister of Sabah.
But where Akjan has hit the bull’s eye is his statement that “Sabah is different”.
This is a state where the Federal Government is allegedly in cahoots with illegal immigrants to steal the country from the Dusuns, including the Kadazans or urban Dusuns and Muruts, the original owners, and the others who have since made it their homeland.
Such a crime, the indications are all there in the figures, is unparalleled. A Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) can easily settle this perennial debate once and for all. Akjan, not that anyone is asking him, wouldn’t hear of a RCI.
At the same time, in a bundle of contradictions, he has previously threatened many times to reveal his “contribution to Umno over nearly two decades”.
He bases his objections to the RCI on the grounds that it would result in racial tension, obviously between foreigners and Malaysians. He gives the impression that the Dusuns have more rights than the Suluks and that the Federal Government has the right and power to give out MyKads (to any Tom, Dick and Harry), and he “will be damned if anyone is going to question the Federal Government’s powers, or instigate people in Sabah to hate it”.
It’s not exactly clear just who appointed Akjan as the “Great Defender of the Federal Government” in Sabah. If the status of dual citizenship is true, Akjan should be immediately stripped of his Malaysian citizenship and deported to the Philippines.
But before Akjan is deported, the authorities should investigate, determine and announce the following:
1) The basis on which he obtained Malaysian citizenship;
2) The basis on which he obtained Philippine citizenship;
3) What are the contradictions, if any, between the respective grounds on which he obtained the dual citizenship status?
Also, Akjan’s co-called coronation/installation should be investigated by the authorities concerned with specific reference to the following:
a) As Sultan he’s saying that he’s the spiritual head of the ummah in Sabah;
b) Akjan as spiritual head of the ummah is in contravention of the provisions of the law which recognise and accord the King and/or the Tuan Yang Terutama Sabah, the status of being the spiritual head of the ummah in Sabah;.
In view of the so-called coronation or installation, Akjan can also be cited for Contempt of Court with specific reference to the Mackasie Declaration.
Akjan is in the process of applying to the Court for release of all regalia and related material used during the so-called coronation/installation. Such material should not be released to him as they provide material evidence to be used against him in Court.

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