Malaysian troops 'visit' sultan's followers

from a report by Jenny Reyes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 27 2013 10:36 PM | Updated as of Feb 28 2013 06:36 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Malaysian soldiers visited on Wednesday afternoon the brother and supporters of the sultan of Sulu who remain holed up in Sabah, Malaysia.

Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III said 6 heavily-armed soldiers from the Malaysian Army who visited the group were not hostile.

He said the soldiers didn't say anything to his brother, Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, and almost 300 of their supporters who are engaged in standoff with Malaysian forces for almost 2 weeks now.

Kiram remains optimistic that the standoff in Sabah will end peacefully.

Kiram said if given the opportunity, they would agree to being granted Malaysian citizenship if it means they would be allowed to stay in Sabah.

"Of course I would like to live in a Muslim country," he said.

However, he warned that his brother is ready to fight to the end.

"Bago sila umalis, ibinilin na nila sa akin ang mga anak at ari-arian nila. Napaghandaan na nila iyan," he said.

He said they have yet to hear directly from the Palace regarding orders from the President to leave Sabah.

He added that he has sent 3 letters to President Benigno Aquino asking for support for negotiations with the Malaysian government but he has not received a reply.