Defense chief: Sultanate could be right on Sabah 

( – The Sultanate of Sulu may have basis for its claim on Sabah in Malaysia, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Friday.

He said Kuala Lumpur pays the sultanate around 5,000 ringgit as annual rent for the area.

“If you are being paid, you have a claim, isn’t it? That is your basis there. Even without saying anything, the fact (remains) that you are being paid. Meaning, what is the 5,000 ringgits for?” he said.

However, Gazmin said he is against the use of violence in the issue.

“You can settle this (issue) before going there. In other words, the process leading to their actions is apparently not right,” the defense chief added.

He said the government is asking Sultan Ismael Kiram to convince his brother, Kiram Jamalul, and his followers to return to Mindanao.

Philippine military officials are also in talks with their Malaysian counterparts to resolve the issue.

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