KOTA KINABALU: An heir to the “Sulu sultanate” was asked to create trouble in Semporna by his uncle Agbimuddin Kiram (pic), who led the group of armed intruders at Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu three years ago, the High Court was told on Tuesday.
Businessman Amir Bahar Hushin Kiram, 53, said he refused to comply to with his uncle’s orders even though Agbimuddin was the “crown prince” of the sultanate.
“My uncle called me into a room and he asked me to convince our people to make problems in Semporna.
“I told him I respect him as my uncle but I must respect my father’s decision for me not to be involved in anything that goes against the Malaysian authorities,” he said, adding that Agbimuddin was angry with him.
He said Agbimuddin told him this after negotiations between Agbimuddin and top Special Branch officers at Kampung Tanduo on Feb 16, 2013.
Testifying before Justice Stephen Chung, Amir Bahar said among those at the negotiations were former Bukit Aman Special Branch deputy director Datuk Abdul Hamid Bador and former Sabah Special Branch deputy chief Asst Comm Zulkifli Abd Aziz.
Amir Bahar is among the key accused and the fourth defence witness in the trial of 19 individuals facing various charges, including waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, over the intrusion of Kampung Tanduo in February 2013.
To a question by defence counsel Majnah Abdullah, Amir Bahar said he lived in Jolo, southern Philippines, and was in Sabah on Feb 14, 2013 when he was called by an uncle, Datu Naufal, who lived in Likas, here.
He said Datu Naufal was a cousin of his father, Esmail Kiram, who had been “elected” Sulu sultan by the people there, though another brother, Jamallul Kiram, was also the sultan but lived in Manila.
Amir Bahar said Datu Naufar had called him on behalf of ACP and the Malaysian Government, who wanted him to arrange for his father Esmail Kiram to meet Agbimuddin.
According to Amir Bahar, his father was willing to come to Sabah to meet Agbimuddin, but Jamallul rejected the proposal, insisting that he was the rightful representative of the sultanate.
Amir Bahar said his father asked him to go to the negotiations at Kampung Tanduo where Hamid met Agbimuddin on Feb 16.
At that meeting, Hamid told Agbimuddin that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had personally ordered him (Hamid) to get the gunmen to leave Tanduo.
Amir Bahar said Hamid had assured Agbimuddin that talks over the Sabah claim would begin when he and his men returned to the Philippines.
Agbimuddin was agreeable, provided the Government put in writing its willingness to negotiate the Sabah claim.
Majnah: Why did Agbimuddin tell Hamid Bador to tell the Prime Minister that this request must be put in writing?
Amir Bahar: Because Agbimuddin said the Government likes to promise things verbally, then they retract their promise.
The hearing continues.