Tuesday, April 2, 2013
BEFORE SURRENDERING: Muhammad Ridzwan speaking to reporters before giving himself up at Ampang police headquarters
A "DATUK SERI" from Penang has declared that he had funded the "Sultan of Sulu" but denied financing the armed incursion into Sabah as police made headway into the money trail of the terrorists who invaded the state.
Muhammad Ridzwan Sulaiman, who was arrested under the Security Measures (Special Offences) Act (Sosma) yesterday, claimed he had helped "Sultan" Muedzul Lail Tan Kiram to lift the lot of the poor Sulu Muslims.
Investigations are under way to determine the amount of money Muhammad Ridzwan had sent to the Philippines and when he began the "charity drive".
It was not immediately known where had he received the title of "Datuk Seri" from but initial checks showed it was an award from the Sulu sultanate.
Police sources said several other Malaysians were also being investigated for allegedly funding Sulu militants who went on a rampage after they first landed at Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu, on Feb 12.
Before Muhammad Ridzwan surrendered to Ampang police at 11.10am, he denied allegations that he had been funding the armed insurgence led by Azzimuddin Kiram, the younger brother of self-proclaimed sultan of Sulu Jamalul Kiram III.
“I don’t know Jamalul Kiram. I have transferred funds to south Philippines, Jolo, particularly to Sultan Muedzul but that’s for charity,” he told reporters.
Muhammad Ridzuan, who is the president of Al-Ehsan Islamiah charity foundation, said the money he transferred was merely for charity.
“I just wanted to help Sulu Muslims who are poor and underprivileged," he said.
He said the last time he had met Muedzul Lail was in September last year.
He believes Muedzul Lail, one of several claimants to the Sulu throne, is the real son of the former sultan of Sulu.
Muhammad Ridzuan was accompanied by 10 of his followers and was clad in a red traditional Malay costume with a serban.
He spoke with reporters for less than five minutes before he surrendered to Ampang police and was later taken to the Selangor police headquarters for questioning.
He said he only knew that the police were looking for him after a friend call him on Sunday night when he was on his way home after function in Kedah.