Published on: Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Kota Kinabalu: Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk V.K. Liew said the Government will never recognise any self-proclaimed Sultan.
He said while it is of no constitutional significance, it is however confusing and that steps must be taken to address perceptions on such matters.
Liew, who is also in charge of the country's law reform exercise, said that while under the Penal Code it is an offence to impersonate a public officer, "however it is debatable if it includes impersonating a Sultan".
"Throughout the years we have had many jokers claiming to be descendants of sultans of this sultanate or that sultanate and in Sabah, this is not an isolated case. It has also happened in Melaka," he said, when contacted for comments Tuesday.
Liew was on the way back after attending the Commonwealth Law Conference in India.
A news portal, Sabah Kini, had reported that a Malaysian businessman and former ISA detainee, Datu Mohd Akjan Ali Muhammad, had been proclaimed as the new Sulu Sultan - the third such claim by competing groups within two months.
Meanwhile, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee said that if the Malaysian Government does nothing to stop such flagrant violation of Malaysia's sovereignty over Sabah, then Sabahans will begin to wonder what it means to be a Malaysian.
He said the fact that there are innumerable claimants to the Sulu sultanate is public knowledge.
"But to have a joker by the name of Akjan Ali to install himself in a self-styled coronation in Sabah as Sultan of Sulu is a direct and no-joke challenge to Malaysia's sovereignty over Sabah and an insult to our Malaysian Sultans and Sabah Head of State.
"This so-called 'Sultan of Sulu', complete with a 'Prime Minister' of a government-in-exile expect people of Sulu descent to pledge loyalty to him, and not to our Malaysian Agong, our constitution and nation.
"The security implications are obvious and serious," he said in a statement.
Yong, a former Chief Minister, added that in 1995 or 1996, Akjan and several other Umno operatives were detained under the Internal Security Act for manufacturing fake identity cards.
"I need say no more about this person except that Akjan is an active Umno member.
What is Umno going to do about him?" he asked.