KOTA KINABALU: The Philippines ambassador to Malaysia Charles C Jose’s statement reaffirming Manila’s claim over Sabah in the presence of Chief Minister Shafie Apdal has enraged Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).
PBS secretary-general Jahid Jahim said the fact that Jose dared to say this in front of the Sabah chief minister was even more disrespectful.
Jahid wondered why there was still no response from the chief minister and, most importantly, from the foreign ministry despite the ambassador blatantly questioning the sovereignty of Sabah and Malaysia.
“Now, it is clear that Manila is continuing its claim as Jose stated that it was never dropped.
“The relevant ministries must be stern and stop all activities or programmes relating to documentation of foreigners.
“The government should also review the authenticity of all the issued documents because we should feel threatened by this continued claim by our neighbour,” he said.
Besides this, he said the federal government has the obligation to ensure the security, especially at the volatile borders between the Borneo states and the Philippines.
“This is their side of the bargain when we agreed to form Malaysia.
“That is why under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), which was incorporated in the Federal Constitution, Sabah will contribute 60% of its net revenue to the federal government,” he said.
During the press conference after paying a courtesy call on Shafie yesterday, Jose told the media that Manila hadn’t dropped its claim over Sabah.
He, however, added that Manila was not pursuing the matter actively at the moment.
The Malaysian government, through the foreign ministry, has consistently rejected the Philippines’ claim, the latest being in July last year when Aquilino Pimentel Jr, a member of the Philippines’ Consultative Committee, proposed the inclusion of the state in the Philippines’ territory.
Despite frequent statements to the media, Manila has yet to make any formal move like registering an official claim at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).