Sultan of Sulu and Sabah, and Sultan of Brunei “Royal Cousins” – Manila Times

by Jaxon S on February 4, 2009

in Brunei, Sabah Claim

Hmm… okay, I have two kids; that would make their children cousins, and their grandchildren, second cousins, and their great-grandchildren, third cousins.

I guess, one can only sustain the business of being cousins to one another for about a century, or at the most two centuries, before the generation losses track of the genealogical lines or the sense of purpose in the whole exercise.

By then, the family tree would have branched into complexity that the whole exercise of tracking one’s cousinry would be rendered less than useful; unless of course, in the event of the descendant rising great men and women.

I would not, however, underestimate the power of association. You see, people are sometimes powerful merely by being associated with someone powerful.

Powerful by association

fuadSo, when I read a Manila Times article, “Royal cousins: Sultan Bolkiah of Brunei and Sultan Fuad of Sulu“, my brain’s crap detector was all abuzz and red flags were everywhere.

The article says, Sultan Muhammad Fuad Abdulla Kiram I (picture), whom the Malacanang Palace addressed as the Sultan of Sulu and Sabah, mind you, attended a state dinner hosted by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Manila recently. Also in attendance was the Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

Royal cousins

The article describes the meeting as a meeting between royal cousins.

sultan-hassanal-bolkiahThe article says, “Sultan Fuad Kiram told The Manila Times in an exclusive interview that he was pleased to meet Sultan Bolkiah especially when he shook the hand of the ruler of Brunei, and greeted him the Muslim greetings ‘Assalamu Alaykum [Peace be with you] your majesty.’ He said Sultan Bolkiah responded to him ‘Alaykum Wassalam [Peace be with you too] your majesty’.”

Peace be upon me

Of course, if someone said “hi” to me at a dinner, I should summon all my intellectual prowess to find out if the greeting could be interpreted in any other way other than it being a mere greeting.

The article concluded that “the meeting of Sultan Fuad and Sultan Bolkiah in Malacanang last week was considered as historic among royal cousins, and was indeed a sort of family reunion.”

Gee… I wouldn’t write that if I were the reporter unless if I want to put my credibility at stake.

Here is the article:

Royal cousins: Sultan Bolkiah of Brunei and Sultan Fuad of Sulu
Meeting of two Sultans makes history
By Julmunir I. Jannaral, Correspondent
 
Darul Jambangan, Sulu: The historical bilateral relations of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo (Sabah) and the Sultanate of Brunei where based on historical account indicating the two have blood relations would have more chances of being revived as the rulers of the two Sultanates met for the first in Malacanang Palace last week.

Sultan Muhammad Fuad Ab­dulla Kiram 1st, the 35th de jure reigning ruler of the Sultan of Sulu and Sultan of Sabah had personally met His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzadin Waddaulah during a state dinner in honor of the latter hosted by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the First Gentleman lawyer Jose Miguel Arroyo held in Malacanang recently.

Aside from the Sultan of Sulu and Sabah, senior officials of the Philippine government and Brunei also attended the state dinner. Among them were Chief Justice Reynato Puno; Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; House Speaker Prospero Nograles; Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Alexander Yano; business tycoon Lucio Tan; Office on Muslim Affairs Executive Director Datu Ali Sangki; members of the diplomatic corps as well as members of the Senate and the House of Representatives; and cabinet members. Brunei Foreign Minister Pehin Lim Jock Seng who was also among the official entourage of the Sultan of Brunei that attended the exclusive state dinner.

Sultan Fuad Kiram told The Manila Times in an exclusive interview that he was pleased to meet Sultan Bolkiah especially when he shook the hand of the ruler of Brunei, and greeted him the Muslim greetings “Assalamu Alaykum [Peace be with you] your majesty.” He said Sultan Bolkiah responded to him “Alaykum Wassalam [Peace be with you too] your majesty.”

Based on the genealogy, the two Sultans are related by blood as one family because their common ancestor was Brunei Sultan Muham­mad Hassan whose reign was from 1582 to 1598. The genealogy further stated that Sultan Muhammad Hassan had a wife who was a Brunei princess and that the past sultans of Brunei originated and finally descended down to Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

On the other hand, Sultan Muhammad Hassan also had another wife who was a princess from Sulu where the past Sultans of Sulu and Sabah had also originated, and descended eventually to Sultan Fuad Kiram as the current 35th reigning Sultan of Sulu and Sabah.

The historical account also stated that Palawan and North Borneo, which is now the timber and oil rich Sabah were gifts by the Sultan of Brunei to the Sultan of Sulu in 1658 after the Sulu Sultan helped the former quell rebellion in Borneo. Thus, Palawan and Sabah became properties of the Sulu crown from 1658 up to this day.

Prior to Spain’s invasion in 1521, the place that is now the Philippines was a Muslim dominion with the Sultan of Brunei ruling Luzon, while the Sultan of Sulu ruled Visayas and Mindanao. In a joint force, the Sultans of Brunei and Sultan of Sulu fought the Spanish invasion together that lasted until 1690.

However, from 1691 up to 1898, the Sultans who ruled the Sultanate of Sulu and Sabah fought the Spaniards single-handedly. Thus, the meeting of Sultan Fuad and Sultan Bolkiah in Malacanang last week was considered as historic among royal cousins, and was indeed a sort of family reunion.

As this developed, according to Prince Omar Kiram, the grand prince and prince marshal of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo, the official invitation by President Arroyo to Sultan Fuad to attend the exclusive state dinner, where he was formally acknowledged as the “Sultan of Sulu and Sultan of Sabah” was an official recognition of Sultan Fuad as the legitimate ruler of the Sulu Sultanate.

Prince Omar also emphasized that the momentous event attended by Sultan Fuad should now put to rest the issue as to the rightful owner of the present and only throne as claimed by other members of the royal family in Sulu.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Jusdy J. February 4, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Thus, Palawan and Sabah became properties of the Sulu crown from 1658 up to this day. —-> WTF??

Jaxon S February 6, 2009 at 8:27 am

Woohoo… you certainly have a way with abbreviation ;)

AngMo February 6, 2009 at 9:40 am

Long live His Majesty, the Sultan of Sulu

lunaticg February 10, 2009 at 10:10 am

Hi!
If authority people in Sabah don’t do something, it is not possible for Filipina to take Sabah. Do you know how many of filiphina PATI in Sabah nowadays?

Jaxons February 11, 2009 at 7:58 am

I don’t have the latest figure… but from the way illegal immigration proliferated in Sabah, my guess is 700,000 to 1 million. I see them everywhere in Sabah…

Jewelle February 14, 2009 at 3:09 pm

I’m sure the Sultan of Brunei was only giving face to him. Besides just because the Sultan of Brunei calls him “Your Majesty”, it did not mean “Your Majesty – my long lost cousin”.

This royal family need to stop dreaming about the “timber and oil rich Sabah” and get on with improving the lives of their current “subjects” in Philippines.

Jaxons February 16, 2009 at 8:22 am

I think so too… giving face. Ya, the sultan of sulu should show some leadership qualities, to stand on his own feet and make change in his sulu realm. if he is successful, kita boleh salute dia! otherwise, he should strip himself of the sultanship…

kris March 17, 2009 at 10:47 pm

That’s ridiculous! If Sultan Muhammad Fuad the Sultan of Sulu & Sabah, so possible to have Sultan of Brunei & Luzon just according to the history as stated far above? North Borneo has fought Spaniard invasion and succeeded because of unity amongst the citizen about 300 hundred years ago.

Jimmy March 18, 2009 at 6:52 pm

I just wondering who is on the line of the Sulu Sultanete, Sultan Esmail Kiram II or Sultan Jamulu Kiram III or Sultan Muhammad Fuad Abulla Kiram I? Few bloggs are create on the issue of the Sulu Royal Family, coronation celebration and Sabah issue?

Any latest up-date who is suppose to be the Sultan of Sulu now?

Jaxon S March 18, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Kris, it is clearly an idea fetched from afar

Jimmy, as it is, it’s difficult to say who is the real sultan. to me, anyone who is able to show leadership in the realm of Sulu should be the one to be regarded the real sultan.

Jimmy March 18, 2009 at 8:13 pm

By the way, for the President Aroyyo, who will she deal with? and who is manage Sulu now? and how about Nur Masuari?

Jimmy March 18, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Who is in the deal with the state goverment? and Who is managed the Sulu now?

Mapel101 April 21, 2009 at 2:20 pm

They were cousins? Seriously? I can’t believe it both of them are Royal Cousins. Ok,seriously, who administrate the Sulu and like Jimmy said, who is in the deal with the state government? Hurm.

Jaxon S May 14, 2009 at 9:42 am

Jimmy… well, Malacanang can choose and pick whom it wants to deal with since there are no lack of Sulu Sultan descendants to choose from. Presidents come and go, and if each would have their own preference as to which sultans they want to work with.

Mapel101, like I said, it is really a far-fetched idea to describe them “royal cousins”.

Jaxon S May 14, 2009 at 9:44 am

As for Misuari, I think he has served his usefulness

About the Sultan May 17, 2009 at 11:25 pm

It may interest the public that the author of this newspaper article is also the Royal Information Minister of Fuad and was granted the titles Maharadja and Baron and received four knighthoods by Fuad. Needless to say that all these titles are worthless as the Royal status of the Sultan ceased to exist in 1962.
No other newspaper reported about this meeting and the Sultan of Brunei and the Philippine President do not confirm that this meeting was officially in any way. The article is merely a make-believe.

To see who is the current Sultan, just visit the Provincial Government of Sulu and see the official list of Sultans: http://sulu.gov.ph/history.asp?id=8&hide_id=5&tabid=2

The homepages of the Sultanat are http://www.sultanatesulu.org and http://www.sultanofsulu.org

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