MNLF: Thousands of Armed Muslims departed for Sabah to Support Sultan Kiram

The Philippine Daily Inquirer is reporting that thousands of Suluk from Southern Philippines have sailed to Sabah to join forces with the militants.

Tausug are called Suluk in Sabah in Sabah, North Borneo.

Quoting a source from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) the report claims that many have made their way to Sabah in small boats to support the armed intrusion.

Habib Hashim Mudjahab, chair of the MNLF's Islamic Council Committee, told the Inquirer "Many of our people are going to Sabah to help the sultanate. They sailed in small numbers so they can easily penetrate Sabah unnoticed."

"The naval blockade is of no use" he said, referring to a naval blockade by the Philippine Navy and Coast Guard to ensure armed sympathizers do not joined the beleaguered men in Sabah as reinforcements.

"President (Benigno) Aquino kept issuing statements favouring the Malaysians, which made our people agitated. The President must realise that it is about pride and honor, and our people are ready to sacrifice," Mudjahab said.

Ajil Jaffar, 50, an oil palm plantation worker in Kota Kinabalu who was among those repatriated to the Philippines, said he wanted to return to Sabah.

"I want to help them. It's our honor to be with the sultan so that this deportation and abuses will stop," he said.

A retired educator in Tawi-Tawi, who asked not to be identified by name, said the sultanate of Sulu represents an extension of their rich heritage. "They are the first Filipinos. The sultanate of Sulu was already there even before Philippines existed," he said.

The Star online / Philippine Daily Inquirer 

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