New Sultan for sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo
Manila, Philippines – The Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo has a new sultan.
Datu Esmail Dalus Strattan Kiram, 73, succeeds his elder brother Jamalul, who passed away on October 19, under the law and order of succession in the sultanate.
Abraham J. Idjirani, secretary general and spokesman of the sultanate, said the new Moro royal leader’s will be officially known as Sultan Esmail Kiram II. The new sultan was born on Nov. 9, 1940.
Idjirani, secretary general and spokesman of the sultanate, revealed this yesterday, the seventh day prayer for the late Sultan Jamalul Kiram III. He said the younger Kiram’s ascension to the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo throne was assured following “strict adherence to the law and order of succession.”
Struggle For Peace
In an interview with the new sultan, Kiram II said he will pursue, along with his brothers and sisters, the struggle for peace and economic development, including the pursuit for Sabah through peaceful means.
“That has been my stand since I was young, a peaceful struggle for Sabah,” he said.
“Even from the beginning, during the time of my father as Sabah administrator, Sultan Punjungan Kiram, I was the one tasked to go to Sabah,” Kiram II said.
He added that he accepts the position of the sultan wholeheartedly, stressing he sees no problem with the sultanate’s “raayat” (constituents).
Idjirani also revealed that “my designation as spokesman of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III was co-terminus with him, thus, I am making this clear to give the new sultan a free hand in choosing his own spokesman.”
However, Idjirani, an engineer by profession, said his positions as secretary general and spokesman for the sultanate will continue, particularly concerning “the legal and historical basis of the Sabah claim, and for the family.”
Idjirani said there was no hindrance to the younger Kiram’s succeeding his elder brother.
“Everybody accepts the law and order of succession in the sultanate. The crown prince, Rajah Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, had already made known that he will observe the succession’s law and order,” said Idjirani.
Kiram III passed away at about 4 a.m. on Oct. 19 at the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) due to a lingering illness.
Dayang-Dayang Sheramar Kiram, eldest daughter of Kiram III to his first wife, Caroline Tulawie Kiram, said her family has no objection to her uncle’s ascending the throne.
“That is automatic,” she said, referring to effect of the law and order of succession of the sultanate.
Idjirani offered a few details about the new sultan.
Kiram II finished the Elementary Teachers’ Course (ETC) in Jolo, Sulu, then went on to teach because of lack of teachers in the province then, he said.
He was a consistent honor student, one of the best basketball players at the Sulu High School.
Anti-Martial Law Advocate
The new sultan is also a religious leader, one of the Islamic leaders who vehemently opposed the declaration of martial law.
Later on, he worked with the Marcos regime’s Ministry of Human Settlements as provincial coordinator for his province.
After the snap elections in 1986, then President Corazon C. Aquino appointed Kiram II as one of the officers-in-charge Sulu provincial board.
He has nine children to his first wife, the late Hadja Zainab Hussin Kiram.
Three of his eldest children are Datu Hayder Ali Hussin Kiram, Datu Amirbahar Hussin Kiram, and Dayang-Dayang Shvetlana Hussin Kiram (Abdurajak).
Kiram II is presently married to Hadja Leonor Sakiral Kiram.