Mohammed Mahakuttah Abdullah Kiram
Sultan Moh. Mahakuttah A. Kiram was the 34th Sultan of Sulu (1974–1986). He is the eldest son of Sultan Moh. Esmail E. Kiram I and the heir apparent to the throne. He was the last Sultan of Sulu officially recognised by the Philippine government.1
In Memorandum Order 427 (1974), then-Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos declared that Mahakuttah A. Kiram was the legitimate heir and that the government was obligated to support his coronation as Sultan of Sulu, which took place on the 24th of May 1974. At the same time, Muedzul Lail Tan Kiram, the eldest son being 8 years old, was crowned beside his father as Raja Muda (Crown Prince) of Sulu.
After the death of Sultan Mahakuttah A. Kiram, the Philippine national government failed to formally recognise a new Sultan. Mahakutta's Crown Prince Muedzul Lail Kiram, the heir to the throne according to the line of succession as recognised by the Philippine governments from 1915 to 1986, was 20 years old upon his father's death. Due to his young age, he failed to claim the throne in a time of political instability in the Philippines that led to the peaceful revolution and subsequent removal of President Marcos. The gap in the Sultanate leadership was filled by crown claimants of rival branches. Therefore, the following Sultans were not crowned with the support of the Philippine government nor received a formal recognition from the national government as their predecessors had until 1986. However, the Philippine national government decided to deal with one or more of these so-called Sultan claimants regarding issues concerning the Sultanates affairs.