A Proclamation

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WHEREAS on the 22nd day of January, 1878, Sri Paduka Maulana Al Sultan Mohammen Jamalul Alam, our royal predecessor, executed that certain contract of lease with Gustavus Baron de Overbeck of Hongkong and Alfred Dent, Esquire of London, who acted as representatives of a British Company, over the territories of the Sultanate of Sulu in North Borneo, as follows:

“The mainland of the Island of Borneo, commencing from the Pandasan River on the west and thence along the whole east coast as far as the Sibuku River on the south, and including all territories, on the Pandasan River and in the coastal area, known as Paitan, Sugut, Banggai, Lahuk, Sandakan, China-batangan, Mumiang, and all other territories and coastal lands to the south, bordering on Darvel Bay and as far as the Sibuku River, together with all the islands which lie within nine miles from the coast.”

WHEREAS, our interest as well as those of our loyal subjects require that the said lease be terminated and our sovereignty over the leased area be forthwith reestablished so that our people may henceforth enjoy the blessings of freedom and the enjoyment of the fruits of their native soil;

NOW THEREFORE, in the exercise of my sovereign rights as Sultan of Sulu and legal representative of the heirs of Sri Paduka Maulana Al Sultan Mohammed Jamalul Alam, son of Sri Paduka Marhum Al Sultan Mohammed Pulalun, I have declared and do hereby declare the termination of the said lease in favor of Gustavus Baron de Overbeck and Alfred Dent, their heirs and assigns, effective the 22nd day of January, 1958, and that from and after that date all the lands covered by the said lease shall be deemed restituted thenceforth to the Sultanate of Sulu.

Done at Dakul, Maimbung, Sulu, Philippines this 25th day of November, 1957.

Sultan of Sulu

For himself and in behalf of the

Copy Furnished:

British North Borneo Company
Jesselton, North Borneo

British North Borneo Company
London, England

The British Embassy
Manila, Philippines

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
London, England

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs
Manila, Philippines

The Secretary-General
United Nations Assembly
New York

(Stamp of the Dry Seal of
the Sultanate of Sulu)


27Considering that sovereignty over North Borneo has remained vested in the Sultanate of Sulu (as recognized by Britain in the Royal Charter of November 1, 1881 and in the letter of Lord Granville to Mr. Morier of Jan. 7, 1882, page 112), and considering further that the North Borneo Cession Order in 1946 constitutes an unwarranted assumption of sovereign rights by the British Crown and a repudiation of the contract of lease of 1878, which merely ceded or gave leasehold rights to Overbeck and Dent, it is justified that the Sultan of Sulu issued a proclamation terminating the lease of 1878.

Source: Philippine Claim to North Borneo, Vol. I