KOTA KINABALU: Former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman has told the Philippines to back off from continuing its claim over the state, saying it is not in line with the spirit of solidarity among Asean countries.
“Sabah is part of the federation of Malaysia and there is no argument or dispute on this matter,” Musa said in a statement here today.
“I urge the Philippines, including its foreign minister, to stop this type of narrative for its internal political purposes because it is not good for bilateral relations within Asean member countries.
“Any claim by the Philippines or any other party on Sabah should not be recognised and entertained.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had previously said the 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”.
Locsin, however, tweeted that “no country can tell another what it can and cannot say”, in an apparent reaction to a chiding from his Malaysian counterpart.
Musa said in the recent High Court case of the government vs Nurhima Kiram Fornan & Ors (2020) here, judge Martin Idang made it abundantly clear that Sabah is part of Malaysia and no other nation has any right or power over the state’s affairs.
“So, let me once again clearly state that we do not recognise or acknowledge any claim by the Philippines on Sabah.
“Sabah is part of Malaysia and has chosen to be and would continue to be a part of the sovereign nation since the state became party to its formation.
“The people in Sabah choose to be in the state because it is in Malaysia. We have been enjoying peace, stability and economic prosperity within Malaysia.”
In a separate statement, former foreign affairs minister Anifah Aman also took Locsin to task over his claim that Sabah is not in Malaysia.
He said the United Nations and the international community had recognised Sabah as part of Malaysia since the formation of the federation on Sept 16, 1963.
Anifah said statements such as the one made by Locsin showed ignorance of history and international law, and warned that they may threaten bilateral ties.
“Sabah is part of Malaysia and always will be. Clearly, this is purely a political move on (Locsin’s) part with no relevance nor weightage,” he said.