‘Monkey Justice’ over the Spratlys PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 January 2015 11:27

By AHMAD A.SALI Ahmad A. Sali, Alhj..


Monkeys characteristically squabble over the fruits they do not own. They share with the dogs the skins of ripe bananas prompting the latter to make a vow to chase the monkeys whenever they set foot on land. In West Africa monkeys are believed to be the carriers of the dreaded Ebola virus.

More dreadful than the Ebola virus is the squabble over the Spratlys not by monkeys but by human in pursuit of insatiable lust for wealth and power. The Spratlys is believed to have a huge oil deposit which is much more precious than a ripe banana. Strangely enough the true and real owner of the Spratlys as part of Palawan is the sultanate of sulu. But is appears to be sleeping about it. They were in that utter state of hibernation when Palawan was taken away unnoticed from the Sultanate ala cattle rustling style. They squabble instead over succession, 39 of them accordingly as of latest count, are locked in dispute as to who is the rightful sultan. Meantime the Sulu Sultanate is being reduced into a virtual non-entity. They might wake up one day to find that, like Palawan and Sabah, the Sulu Sultanate is lost forever.

The lease contract of 1878 signed by Sulu Sultan Jamalul A’lam in favor of Alfred Dent, Esquire, and Baron De Overbeck had virtually thrown Sabah away into oblivion. Then from Dent and Overbeck to the scheming British government, then from the British to the lucky recipient Malaysia. Then, fastening the last nail to the death coffin of Sabah, the Sulu royalties in the 60’s issued special power of Attorney to the Republic of the Philippines purportedly to pursue the Sabah claim before the U.N. The rest is history. Now, the bone of contention:

The  Sulu Sultanate says Sabah was leased. Malaysia says no lease but cession. Padjak is word appearing in the original lease contract of 1878. Finally, the question may be asked: is Sabah worth-dying for? Your guess is as good as mine.