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Yong: End Sabah claim, turn away Sulu supporters

 | December 2, 2015

There are elements who think that Sabah belongs to the Philippines and that they have a right to be in the state.


KOTA KINABALU: Former Sabah Chief Minister Yong Teck Lee has suggested that Putrajaya bring closure to the so-called Sabah claim once and for all. At the same time, added Yong, both the Federal and Sabah Governments should institute background checks at entry points to turn away those who are linked with the defunct Sulu sultanate and the Sabah claim. “These elements think that Sabah belongs to the Philippines and that they have a right to be in the state.”

Yong advocates that three categories of Sulu supporters should be turned away from Sabah . “Category 1, holders of Philippine passports; Category 2, those with dubious MyKads; and Category 3, those who openly declare themselves as followers of local Umno leader, Akjan Ali, who not so long ago self-proclaimed himself as Sultan of Sulu.”

“There should be an action plan to deal with the three categories.”

Category 2 is already in Sabah , conceded the former Chief Minister who heads the Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp). “So, the question is what to do with them? How can we bar people who are already here?”

Yong was commenting on the Sabah Assembly passing a Resolution last Thursday to ban anyone who supported or linked themselves with the so-called Sulu sultanate.

Revisiting the Sabah claim, Yong urged the Federal Government to engage with Manila and re-set its relationship with the Philippines so that there can be closure on the claim. “The Manila Government tolerates, even encourages, militants who pose a threat to the security of Sabah .”

“These groups are split at the moment, while there are also numerous claimants to the Sulu sultanate. However, if they come together, it poses a perfect storm gathering on Sabah ’s doorsteps.”

The Sapp Chief advised the Sabah State Security Committee to take note that rogue elements in the Philippines are ferrying American-made weapons to armed groups in the south of the country. “This makes it a security nightmare for Sabah along with the kidnappings-for-ransom incidents.”

Putrajaya, continued Yong, can also delve into history to set the record straight and demolish the Sabah claim once and for all.”

Brunei records show, stressed Yong, that the sultanate never ceded North Borneo to the Sulu sultanate. “ Brunei in fact ceded North Borneo to Alfred Dent and Baron von Overbeck in December 1877 i.e. before the January 1878 agreement between the duo and Sulu.”


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