1903 “Confirmation of Cession of Certain Islands” Agreement of the Sulu to the British North Borneo Company

On 22nd April 1903, Sultan Jamalul Kiram of the Sulu Sultanate signed a document known as “Confirmation of Cession of Certain Islands”, under which he has “ceded” additional islands in the neighbourhood of the mainland of North Borneo from Banggi Island to Sibuku Bay, to British North Borneo Company. The sum 5,000 dollars a year payable every year increased to 5,300 dollars a year payable every year. Note that this Agreement further clarifies the treaty of 1878, where it further affirms that the original word padjak clearly means cession, and not “lease”.



  1. So a malay word padjak which meant “LEASE” in ENGLISH to malay speaking people, their native language and the BRITISH which language is ENGLISH knows “better” the correct translation? It’s just greediness that makes them claim a PADJAK word is a CESSION.


  2. Unlike 1878 agreement, the 1903 agreement has only one version i.e. the English version, therefore there is no ambiguity whatsoever. Filipino sources are reluctant to make reference to this because it is counterproductive to their argument, as 1903 makes clear what 1878 meant..


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