Sabah or North Borneo and the island of Palawan were bestowed as gifts to the Sultan of Sulu by the Sultan of Brunei in 1658 in gratitude for the assistance of the Sultan of Sulu to avert a civil war in Borneo. Thus, since that time, Sabah became a property of the Sultan of Sulu and the Sultanate of Sulu. Sabah's problems is that its tenant Malaysia is not paying the right amount of rent to the Lessor Landlord (Sultan of Sulu).
In 1878, HM Sultan Jamalul Ahlam Kiram, the legitimate owner, leased Sabah to a British company headed by Gustavus Baron de Overbeck and Alfred Dent for their use and their heirs, but the Lease disallows the transfer of Sabah to any nation, company or persons without the consent of His Majesty's Government ("Government of the Sultanate of Sulu"). The transfer of Sabah by Great Britain to malaysia in 1963 constituted a breach of the provisions of the 1878 Lease as the Government of the Sultan of Sulu did NOT consent to the transfer to Malaysia. As a point in law, Sabah MUST and SHOULD be returned to the Lessor as owners (the Sultan of Sulu and the Sultanate of Sulu).
In 1906 and in 1920, the United States formally reminded Great Britain that Sabah did not belong to the latter and was still part of the Sultanate of Sulu but Great Britain ignored and did not listen to the reminder of the US and transferred Sabah to Malaysia in 1963. This transfer is prohibited under the Sabah Lease of 1878.
The continued occupation of Sabah by Malaysia is illegal and must certainly end. Malaysia pays the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu a very small annual rent of PhP77,442.36 or a measly US$1,500 for Sabah a real estate property with a land area of 73,711 square meters. This tiny annual rent is unjust and unfair and is unacceptable and indefensible how Malaysia can stay in Sabah by paying so little an amount of rent per year.
Sabah contributes US$30 billion GDP to the Malaysian economy annually and looking at fair commercial rental property transactions, the Lessor can expect to receive a rental payment of at least 10% to 12% of US$3 billion to US$3.6 billion per year from Tenant. But the Lessor only receives a measly US$ 1,500 per year so the Malaysian rent needs further discussion and a renegotiation must take place for the satisfaction of everyone concerned. For the Tausugs and for the Filipino nation.
Due to the unfair and unjust treatment of Malaysia which the Tausugs of Sabah regard as un-Islamic and Haram and the lack of economic development in the Sultanate of Sulu and also in Sabah, several pro-independence groups advocate Sabah's freedom from a foreign power. It's high time we give the due recognition to our Tausug brother over their rightful ownership of Sabah. Sabah must be returned to the Tausugs and the Kiram family. Sabah must be returned to His Majesty Sultan Fuad A. Kiram I.
The Sultan of Sulu and the Sultan of Sabah, HM Sultan Fuad A. Kiram I (current Lessor/Landlord) expounds that if Malaysia wants to stay in Sabah lawfully, then Malaysia must pay the correct rent of US$ 3 Billion to US$3.6 Billion per year. But if the rental payment is unacceptable, he proposes a "Joint Administration" between the Sultan of Sulu and the Sultan of Sabah and Malaysia to administer Sabah and all incomes are split co-equally, similar to the joint administration or "Condominium of France and Great Britain in Vanuatu" prior to Vanuatu's independence.
Income to be derived from the Sabah rent or the Joint Administration will be utilized to develop Sulu to uplift the well-being of the Sulu people such as roads, hospitals, schools, education, peace and order, etc. The correct rent payment by Malaysia to the Sultanate of Sulu and/or the Joint Administration of Sabah will be the solution to the Sabah issue. In any Joint Administration, the Sultanate of Sulu must insist that 50% of the earnings will be for the Sabah people's social and economic developments and 25% each for Malaysia and the Sultanate of Sulu.