KOTA KINABALU: Datu Amirbahar Hushin Kiram, the 53-year-old son of Sulu sultan, told the High Court here yesterday that they did not plan to take over the sovereignty rights of Malaysia instead they were only concerned about their proprietary rights.
Datu Amirbahar told Justice Stephen Chung that Malaysia is an independent country but as far as their proprietary rights are concerned, they will take whatever support that will make them succeed in claiming their proprietary rights.
However, the accused disagreed to a suggestion by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Jamil Aripin that they would take whatever course and mean so that they could get back their proprietary rights.
The accused was the fourth person to enter his defence on two charges of waging war against the King and being a member of a terrorist group.
Datu Amirbahar, who opted to give his testimony from the witness dock, was arrested for allegedly committing the offences in Semporna.
The two charges were under Sections 121 and 130KA of the Penal Code which is punishable by the death sentence or life imprisonment and also liable to a fine while the other charge carries life imprisonment and also liable to a fine upon conviction, respectively.
To a question by Jamil during cross-examination, the accused testified that his father, Sulu sultan Datu Esmail Kiram II was installed by the people of Sulu and recognized by the Philippines Government because he was residing in Sulu.
“Datu Jamalul Kiram III was living in Manila for over 10 years and he was already a disabled person, the people of Sulu’s choice to become the sole legitimate Sulu sultan,” the accused said.
To another question by Jamil, the accused explained that the laws and systems in Sulu sultan are different from other countries if there were a sultan.
“In our systems, when the father died, the son cannot be a sultan, the successor must be from the siblings,” testified the accused, who hails from Jolo, Sulu.
Jamil: I refer to you a passport, do you agree that you are not telling the truth the last time you came to Sabah on September 26, 2012 and on November 7, 2012, you went to Semporna there was an endorsement on your passport.
Accused: I do not agree as I see in the passport it is the date of my arrival and endorsed by the Immigration dated September 26, 2012. Since I arrived, the department gave me only one month, then after I arrived in Bungao Tawi-Tawi, I came again to Semporna and arrived on November 7, 2012.
Jamil: Do you agree with me that after your arrival on November 7, 2012 you never went back to the Philippines?
Jamil: I put it to you that you were not telling the truth when you said you were given one month when according to the endorsement in your passport when you visited Semporna on September 26, 2012, you were only permitted to remain in Sabah or West Malaysia until October 2, 2012?
Accused: The department advised me after one week I was asked to report to Immigration to endorse my passport again.
Jamil: After your endorsement to visit Sabah or West Malaysia expired on October 2, 2012, you continued to reside in Sabah illegally for 16 to 17 days before you were issued a special pass on October 19, 2012 when extension to remain in Sabah or West Malaysia was until November 8, 2012?
Accused: I do not agree.
Jamil: Do you agree on November 6, 2012 you left Semporna?
Jamil: Where did you go?
Accused: To Bungao Tawi-Tawi on a commercial ferry boat.
The accused agreed to a suggestion by Jamil that on November 7, 2012 he came back to Sabah and his passport was endorsed where he could only remain in Sabah until December 6, 2012 and a special pass was issued to allow him to remain in Sabah until January 8, 2013.
Jamil: Again on January 14, 2013 after staying illegally in Sabah for six to seven days, the Immigration issued a special passport on February 12, 2013?
Accused: Yes, it appeared in the passport.
Jamil: Despite the permission to remain in Sabah until February 12, 2013, you did not obtain any further special pass to stay in Sabah. And thereby do you agreed that you were an illegal immigrant in Sabah from February 12, 2013 until you were arrested on March 23, 2013?
Accused: At that time before my passport expired, I wrote a letter to the District Office of Semporna and attached a letter from my father to the Chief Minister informing the Government of Sabah that I would stay in Sabah. So when I met the assistant district officer of Semporna I handed the letter personally. I talked to the district officer to ask for re-consideration to extend my passport again and I was informed that my intention was to stay in Semporna. The assistant district officer could not approve as he told me that he would first submit or give to the Chief Minister of Sabah before my stay in Sabah would be approved by the district officer of Semporna.
To another question by Jamil, the accused said that he had no knowledge on February 12, 2013 of an armed group led by his uncle the late Raja Muda Datu Agbimuddin Kiram would come to Tanduo.
The accused disagreed that he remained in Semporna after his visit pass expired because he was part of the armed group and he wanted to assist them in claiming and taking over Sabah by whatever means.
Jamil: Could you tell the court what were you doing in Sabah for period of three months?
Accused: My father told me before he left and met with a policeman referred to as ACP Zulkifli by the accused, where there were arrangements that my father would be back to Sabah and bring him to Kuala Lumpur and he advised me to wait for his arrival but due to what happened in Kampung Tanduo, my father did not proceed.
Jamil: I put it to you that during that period of time you were getting supporters and were recruiting the Suluk and Badjao people to be Royal Sulu Force members and to assist Raja Muda Datu Agbimuddin and his group to fight against the Government of Malaysia in order to claim Sabah?
Accused: That is not true.
The trial, held at a hall doubled as an open court at the Kepayan prisons here under tight security checks by police and prison personnel, will continue today for defence trial.