Malaysia to summon Philippine envoy over Sabah tweet

Foreign Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says Sabah is, and will always be, part of Malaysia.

PETALING JAYA: The foreign affairs ministry will be summoning the Philippine ambassador to Malaysia to explain a tweet by Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr, who said that “Sabah is not in Malaysia”.

“This is an irresponsible statement that affects bilateral ties,” Foreign Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said on his Twitter account today.

“Wisma Putra will summon the Philippine ambassador on Monday to explain. Sabah is, and will always be, part of Malaysia.”

On Wednesday, the US embassy in Manila said on Twitter that hygiene kits given by a US aid agency were “for use by returning Filipino repatriates from Sabah, Malaysia”.

In reply, Locsin tweeted that “Sabah is not in Malaysia if you want to have anything to do with the Philippines”.

Locsin had also reaffirmed Manila’s claim over Sabah at a congressional budget briefing last year, stating that the five-decade claim was initiated during the administration of the late President Diosdado Macapagal and was pushed by Macapagal and his father, Teodoro Locsin Sr.

Malaysia has said it does not recognise and will never entertain any claim by any party on Sabah.