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Jamalul Kiram III

Jamalul Kiram III
Sultan of Sulu
Sultan of Sulu
Reign 1984 – 20 October 2013
Coronation 15 June 1986
Predecessor Datu Punjungan Kiram
Successor Ismael Kiram II
Spouse Fatima Celia H. Kiram
Issue Jacel Kiram
Full name
Jamalul Dalus Strattan Kiram III
House Royal House of Kiram
Father Datu Punjungan Kiram
Mother Sharif Usna Dalus Strattan
Born (1938-07-16)16 July 1938
Maimbung, Sulu, Philippines
Died 20 October 2013(2013-10-20) (aged 75)
Quezon City, Philippines
Religion Islam

Jamalul Kiram III (16 July 1938 – 20 October 2013) was a claimant Sultan of the Sultanate of Sulu (now part of the Republic of the Philippines). He was an unsuccessful candidate for senator in the 2007 Philippine Elections. Self-described as "the poorest sultan in the world", Kiram revived [1] the North Borneo dispute between the Philippines and Malaysia which led to the 2013 Lahad Datu standoff.


  • Succession 1
  • Early life 2
  • Royal duties 3
    • Senatorial bid 3.1
    • 2013 politics 3.2
  • Death 4
  • References 5


With his retirement, the succession rights of the sultanate was disputed among his heirs such as Mohammad Akijal Atti. The dispute on the succession rights ended in November 11, 2012 when claimants from the Kiram family (descendants of Punjungan Kiram only) met together in Sulu, ending their decade-long feud. After the family meeting, Jamalul Kiram III once again became the de facto sultan alongside Ismael Kiram II. He also declared Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin Kiram as "crown prince".[2]

Early life

Born in Mainbung, Sulu, Philippines during the Commonwealth, he was the eldest son of the late Sultan Punjungan Kiram and Sharif Usna Dalus Strattan. He is directly descended from the first Sultan of Sulu, Sharif ul-Hāshim of Sulu from the Banu Hashem tribe, the direct descendants of Muhammad.

Sultan Jamalul III studied in Jolo Central Elementary School from 1946 to 1951. He finished high school at the Sulu High School in 1955 and took up pre-law from 1956 to 1958 at Notre Dame of Jolo. He studied for a Bachelor of Law degree from Manuel L. Quezon University (MLQU) in 1964 but was unable to finish it. He later became dancer instead.

Sultan Jamalul III was married to Dayang Hadja Fatima Celia H. Kiram, and resided in Taguig City, Metro Manila.

Royal duties

He was a member of the Ruma Betchara (Council of the Sultan) during the reign of his late uncle, Sultan Esmail Kiram]l (1962–1974). He acted as "Interim Sultan" during the absence of his father Sultan Punjungan Kiram while in Sabah (1974–1981) and proclaimed in 1984 as 33rd Sultan of Sulu and was crowned on 15 June 1986 in Jolo, Sulu.

Kiram forged the century-old relationships between Sulu and China during a royal visit to Dezhou, Shandong Province, People' Republic of China in September 1999 with an 87-man entourage. The visit concluded with the signing of the agreement between Hebei Province and the Sulu Sultanate on agricultural technology exchange.

He also forged bilateral relationship beyween the Don Sasagawa Foundation of Japan and the Sultan Jamalul Ahlam Foundation. Sultan Jamalul Alam was the recipient of various hospital equipment from Japan which were in turn donated to the Sulu Provincial Hospital in 1992.

He was the one responsible for the release of the American and the German nationals from the captivity of the lost command of the MNLF in 1984. He established livelihood programs in Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Palawan through the Sulu-Marine and Seven Seas Corporations.

He was also the president of the Philippine Pencak Silat Association and once served as a board member in the Philippine Olympic Committee.

Senatorial bid

He unsuccessfully ran as Senator under the banner of TEAM Unity during the 2007 elections.[3] He had previously Legislative and Executive Advisory Council on the Sabah Claim Presidential Adviser on Muslim Royalties' Concern under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

2013 politics

Beginning on 9 February 2013, approximately 200 men led by Jamalul Kiram's brother made a homecoming in Lahad Datu in the state of Sabah, in an effort in asserting the Sulu Sultanate's claim to the state. The men, many of whom were heavily armed, engaged a standoff with Malaysian police. Sultan Jamalul Kiram III was reported to have directed the men not to leave, claiming that "Malaysia is only renting Sabah" from the heirs of the Sultanate.

During the Zamboanga City crisis, Sultan Jamalul III criticized his previous ally, Nur Misuari, for waging a war against the Philippine government.


On 20 October 2013, Kiram III died of Maimbung, Sulu. He left eight children with two wives.[4] Numerous political personalities paid their respects to the late Sultan including the current governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao Mujiv Sabbihi Hataman and Sulu vice-governor Abdusakur Mahail Tan,[5] Former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos,[6] and the Malacañang Palace.[7]

The Royal Malaysia Police in Sabah reacted to the death by saying that they "would continue to be alert for any intrusion".[8] His spokesman said that the Kiram Royal Family will continue pursuing the North Borneo dispute.[9]


  1. ^ "Heirs of Sultan of Sulu pursue Sabah claim on their own". The  
  2. ^ Dela cruz, Arlyn. "Heirs of Sultan of Sulu pursue Sabah claim on their own". Inquirer. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "CV of Jamalul D. Kiram III". Retrieved 3 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III dies".
  5. ^ ARMM Governor, Sulu Vice-governor extend condolences to Kiram's Family. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Manila. October. 20, 2013.
  6. ^ Lack of Clearance Hampers Burial Before Sundown. GMA News. Manila. October 20, 2013.
  7. ^ Palace Sympathizes with Kirams over Sultan's Death. GMA News. Manila. October 20, 2013.
  8. ^ Dying Sulu Sultan: Pursue Sabah claim. The Philippine Star. Manila. October 21, 2013.
  9. ^ Sulu's Sultan Dies, Sought to Restore Reign over Sabah. Bloomberg. October 20, 2013.
Regnal titles
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Aguimuddin Abirin
Sultan of Sulu
Reason for succession failure:
Sultanate powers ceded to the Philippines
Succeeded by
Mohammad Akijal Atti
Preceded by
Mohammad Akijal Atti
Sultan of Sulu
2012 - 2013
with Ismael Kiram II
Reason for succession failure:
Sultanate powers ceded to the Philippines
Succeeded by
Ismael Kiram II

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