Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Tourist Guide Association (STGA) on Wednesday said it has not found any record of a nephew of the self-styled Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, by the name of Dennis Kiram, working as a tourist guide in the State.
Its President, Daniel Doughty, claimed STGA had searched for Dennis, including confirmation from ground members statewide, after a Filipino media reported the Sultan’s wife, Fatima Celia Kiram, as saying Dennis was arrested and put in jail, where he was maltreated by the authorities Apparently, Dennis, a Filipino who grew up in Sabah and whose father is the sixth younger brother of Jamalul, was arrested by the authorities for failing to produce his passport, the Manila Bulletin reported.
Dennis’ father has passed on, Fatima explained.
Doughty, in his response to Fatima’s ‘disturbing’ allegations, confirmed that despite STGA being the biggest and oldest tourist guide body here, they never had a member who goes by the name.
“We have checkedÉwe do not have anyone with the said particulars,” Doughty said to the Daily Express, here, Wednesday.
He added that Dennis must have been working here illegally, as an aspiring tourist guide in Sabah must be registered with the STGA first.
“If he really had worked here, Dennis is unqualified to act as an ambassador for the State and country,” said Daniel, adding that Dennis could be one of the illegal guides disrupting the income of genuine tourist guides in Sabah.
Daniel said STGA currently has about 2,000 members Statewide and was also aware there are a number of guides operating illegally in the State.
“That is why we are asking authorities to be more focused and serious in enforcement on illegal tourist guides, an issue on which STGA has been waiting for proactive actions to be taken against them,” he said.
Meanwhile, Daniel dubbed Fatima’s allegations as an attempt to seek international sympathy, diverting the real reasons for the Sulu intrusion, which was to claim Sabah.
Some media in the Philippines have since reported cases of abuse of Filipino migrants by Malaysian authorities, amid calls for the Philippine government to launch an investigation over these claims.
Thousands of Filipino migrants have been reported to have fled back to their country to escape after Malaysia went on the offensive since March 1.
In the report, Fatima had also claimed the abuses were documented with the Sultanate itself receiving such reports since 2000, during deportation.
Source: Daily Express