Pundits: Philippines trying to widen rift between Putrajaya and Sabah by claiming ownership | Malay Mail

Sabah, Philippines, Malaysia-Philippines, Malaysia Agreement 1963 Ma63

Pundits: Philippines trying to widen rift between Putrajaya and Sabah by claiming ownership

Sabah, Philippines

9/12/2019

Pundits: Philippines trying to widen rift between Putrajaya and Sabah by claiming ownership

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 — A Philippines official’s remark claiming that Sabah belongs to the republic could be a calculated move to “exploit” the East Malaysian state’s strained relationship with Putrajaya, several international affairs observers have suggested. Noting that the recent claim...

12 September 2019 BY KENNETH TEE AND JULIA CHAN Participants get ready for 2018 Malaysia Day Celebrations at Padang Merdeka in Kota Kinabalu September 16, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 — A Philippines official’s remark claiming that Sabah belongs to the republic could be a calculated move to “exploit” the East Malaysian state’s strained relationship with Putrajaya, several international affairs observers have suggested. Noting that the recent claim by the island republic as an effective recurring strategy used by Philippines politicians to gain political mileage, they, however, warned that it was imperative Putrajaya remained on its toes over possible armed incursion from parties seeking to lay claim to the state and to prevent a repeat of the 2013 Lahad Datu standoff. Speaking to Malay Mail , Universiti Teknologi Malaysia geostrategist Azmi Hassan suggested a new strategy is being employed by Malacañang, seemingly to pit state and federal governments against each other in light of recent political developments. “My assumption is that when there is a bad relationship between the state and federal governments, Manila hopes that the issue of Sabah remaining in Malaysia will ignite again since it has been pursued by certain quarters in Sabah to Manila’s advantage. “To be more specific, the strained relationship between Sabah and KL via MA63 is being exploited by Manila to serve its purpose. “It’s not healthy when local issues such as MA63 are used by a foreign entity since it will complicate discussions between the two parties of Sabah and Putrajaya,” he said, using the acronym of the Malaysia Agreement 1963. Azmin also agreed when asked if it is possible that the republic was hoping for Sabahans to eventually get “fed up”, before taking advantage of the situation and staking a claim on the state. On September 4, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr repeated the Philippines’ claim over Sabah, after its Lanao del Norte representative Khalid Dimaporo asked if the republic’s Department of Foreign Affairs has allocated any funds for Sabah. In response, Wisma Putra stressed that Malaysia does not recognise and will never entertain any claims by any party on Sabah. Pointing out that the sensitivity of the Sabah claim used to satisfy Filipinos was usually confined there, Azmi, however, said Manila’s latest attempt could be implicitly seen as a foreign interference in a domestic matter. Earlier this month, it was reported that Sabahans remain unconvinced of Putrajaya’s sincerity in reviewing MA63, with concerns that the terms of the review are a one-sided affair. Other long-standing issues that continue to rankle include the unequal development between East Malaysia and the peninsula, higher oil royalty payments, a 40 per cent return on income generated by the state and the complex illegal immigrant situation. A short-lived anti-Malaya sentiment also resurfaced in 2015 with a group of secessionists claiming Sabahans were no longer interested in being a part of the Malaysian federation. As a result, local political parties have become more vocal in fighting for the restoration of their rights from the central government. Senior fellow at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia, Bunn Nagara, also echoed Azmi’s remarks, adding that the Philippines government will never officially give up its claim of Sabah even though it has no legal and factual basis. He said the issue persisted for so many years because it is treated as a nationalist and emotional issue in the Philippines, with it frequently linked to voters’ sentiment. However, he warned Putrajaya to beware of possible attacks in the future similar to the 2013 Lahad Datu standoff because of the issue’s volatile nature among the general Filipino populace. “When issues become emotional people forget about facts. As part of the claim is concerned, every Filipino group and individual I have met, regardless of their differences in politics, insist that Sabah is part of the Philippines,” he said when contacted. “It is an obvious disregard for the facts of history and legal reality. Functionally and administratively, Sabah has been part of Malaysia for so many years. “However, there are some people in the Philippines who, through ignorance or deliberate mischief, may try to stir up the issue by assuming Sabah is part of the Philippines,” he added. He said it could be safely assumed that the Philippines has found itseld to be weak on the legal side as current Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has not pursued his 2016 Sabah claim promise since then. Bunn then explained the context of the claim — originating historically from the now abolished Sulu Sultanate and not from the Republic of the Philippines — as being weak, not credible or non-existent. Historically speaking the Sulu Sultanate bordered the western peninsula of Mindanao and also covered the area on the north-eastern side of Borneo, now Sabah. Successive presidents since the era of Diosdado Macapagal in the 1960s have pressed the Sultanate’s case, but failed to follow through including an attempt by the late president Ferdinand Marcos to train and equip a secret Muslim militia to take Sabah by force in 1967. In February 2013, about 200 armed Sulu men led by self-appointed Sultan Jamalul Kiram III launched an armed assault when some 200 armed men laid siege to Lahad Datu, Sabah, leading to firefights with Malaysia’s security forces, and killing some 100 people. Bunn reiterated that a referendum was also held by the Cobbold Commission in 1962 on the formation of the Federation of Malaysia, with the people of Sabah and Sarawak collectively agreeing to be part of the federation. For Malacañang, acceptance of Sabah as part of Malaysia was conditional upon a United Nations-approved referendum determining the wishes of the Sabah people. “Although the referendum was carried out, the Philippines refused to accept the outcome and so until today, we have this problem,” he said. Related Articles Read more: Malay Mail

Sabah CM wants talks with Philippines on illegal immigrants | Malay MailKOTA KINABALU, Sept 10 ― Facing a battle against illegal immigrants, Sabah is hoping to engage with the Philippine government to ensure its repatriated citizens do not return to the state. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said that the government needs to put a stop to the thousands of...

Former Malay Mail journalist Johan Fernandez laid to rest | Malay MailKUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 — Former Malay Mail subeditor Johan Fernandez Abdullah was buried at the Tanah Perkuburan Islam Jalan Ampang here following his death this morning. Johan, 71, died at 6am at Hospital Kuala Lumpur following a short battle with illness caused by urosepsis. The late Johan was...

MTEM alleges unfair treatment after Putrajaya drops 33 uncertified Bumi firms as furniture suppliers | Malay MailKUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 — The Malay Economic Action Council (MTEM) called the Finance Ministry cruel today over its move to stop 33 Bumiputera companies from supplying furniture to the government over their lack of a specific certificate. MTEM said it received a complaint from its member...

Jakarta accuses Putrajaya of ‘cover-up’, insists KL haze from Sarawak, peninsula | Malay MailKUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 — The Indonesian government has again denied that the haze in Malaysia was caused by hotspots in the republic, claiming that the smog affecting Kuala Lumpur originating from Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia. Jakarta-based news outfit Tempo.co quoted its Minister of...

Johor govt to ask Putrajaya for funds to improve Causeway water flow | Malay MailJOHOR BARU, Sept 10 ― The Johor government will request for federal government allocation to repair and upgrade six culvert outlets at the Causeway here, in an effort to improve the water flow of the Johor Straits. Johor Works, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Mohd Solihan...

Air Selangor is sole water supplier to KL, Selangor, Putrajaya starting Friday | Malay MailKUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 ― The Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor) will officially become the sole licensee for water treatment and distribution to consumers in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya beginning Friday. Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari said Air Selangor had successfully...



Hadi's appointment as special envoy not to appease party members, says PAS

PKP: Seronok berparti ya?

UPSI students made to train together for performance during Noraini's visit

Hana dan PU Abu sudah berpisah

Health D-G: MCO extension will be decided on April 10 | Malay Mail

Dr Noor Hisham sertai saintis dunia perangi Covid-19

Ramadan bazaar ban a big blow on food trucks

Write Comment

Thank you for your comment.
Please try again later.

Latest News

News

12 September 2019, Thursday News

Previous news

Lembaga Pengarah UMT akan bincang cadangan gabung dengan Unisza | The Malaysian Insight

Next news

Every day two Bangladeshi workers die in Malaysia
Mainland China sees rise in new Covid-19 cases | Malay Mail Covid-19: Pakistan kesan puluhan ribu jemaah tabligh Pindah jenazah dek protes penduduk 'Not all are rich stars' Mainland China reports increase in new Covid-19 cases India couple names newborn infants 'Corona' and 'Covid' Single passenger flights: Daily woes of airlines, and the crew still working | Malay Mail Long queues at Singapore supermarkets ahead of month-long lockdown Covid-19: 5-year-old among 708 new UK fatalities Liga tanpa penyokong? Kota Samarahan MP tests positive for Covid-19 Orang Asli berisiko tercicir terima bantuan Covid-19 Putrajaya | The Malaysian Insight
Hadi's appointment as special envoy not to appease party members, says PAS PKP: Seronok berparti ya? UPSI students made to train together for performance during Noraini's visit Hana dan PU Abu sudah berpisah Health D-G: MCO extension will be decided on April 10 | Malay Mail Dr Noor Hisham sertai saintis dunia perangi Covid-19 Ramadan bazaar ban a big blow on food trucks Telcos striving to overcome problem of slowing internet in housing areas | Malay Mail Kit Siang urges govt to follow South Korea’s ‘aggressive’ mass testing model | Malay Mail PAS denies Abdul Hadi’s appointment as special envoy to Middle East to appease party members | Malay Mail Coronavirus may spread through normal breathing, say US scientists | Malay Mail Covid-19: Maeps transformed into massive makeshift hospital