By Kristine Angeli Sabillo, INQUIRER.net (Oct. 20, 2013)
MANILA, Philippines – Sultan Jamalul Kiram III died on Sunday, his daughter told Radyo Inquirer 990AM.
Princess Jacel Kiram said the 75-year old heir of the Sulu sultanate died of multiple organ failure at the Philippine Heart Center at 4:42 a.m. on Sunday.
She said Kiram, who made headlines in February after his men clashed with Malaysian forces in a bid to reclaim Sabah, has long been suffering from kidney problems. He has been confined in the said hospital since Thursday.
“Whatever my father started, he left for us to continue…We should not falter. He’s a great man, a good man. He was priceless. All he wanted was, in his right time, be allowed by Allah to reclaim Sabah for the Filipinos…We’ll be the ones to continue that,” she said.
She said Kiram’s passing was not that hard for the family to accept since her father had already instilled in them that things happen because of the “will of Allah.”
The younger Kiram said they might bring the remains to Jolo, Sulu.
On February 9, 2013, at least 200 men led by the Sultan’s brother Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin Kiram landed in Lahad Datu to reclaim Sabah for the Philippines. The standoff between Kiram’s men and Malaysian authorities had resulted in deadly clashes.
Kiram, one of the heirs of the Sulu sultanate, said they wanted the Philippines to pursue the historical claim on Sabah through the International Court of Justice or the United Nations. His group claims that Sabah was merely leased to the British North Borneo Co. which later transferred its rights to Malaysia. Amid Malaysia claiming Sabah as its state, the Malaysian Embassy in the Philippines reportedly continues to issue a check of 5,300 ringgit to the heirs of the Sulu sultanate. Malaysia calls it “cession” payment but the sultanate’s descendants consider it lease payment.
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