Parliament to debate ‘Sabah map in Philippine passports’ issue

The Dewan Rakyat approved the emergency motion tabled by Batu Sapi MP Liew Vui Keong today.

KOTA KINABALU: The Dewan Rakyat today approved an emergency motion tabled by Warisan’s Batu Sapi MP Liew Vui Keong to debate the Philippines’ proposal to include the Sabah map in its passports.

Liew said the emergency motion would be debated in the special chamber of Parliament this afternoon.

He said the foreign minister would be present to state Wisma Putra’s stand on the matter and how it intended to respond to the move, which he said was “provocative”.

“This move by the Philippine government is entirely provocative and irresponsible, and has the tendency to disturb the peaceful order in Sabah while threatening harmony in the Federation of Malaysia at large,” he said.

“Sabah was a founding member of Malaysia in 1963 and is not a part of the Philippines. The Philippines has no legitimate claim over Sabah.”

Liew underscored the urgency to speak about Manila’s move, saying it should not be taken lightly as it concerned the sovereignty of Sabah and Malaysia as a whole, and that Malaysia should respond sternly.

The Philippine proposal, approved by the house foreign affairs committee last week, called for the Philippine map, showing a 200-mile exclusive economic zone and Sabah, to be printed on Philippine passports.

Following this, Sabah caretaker chief minister Shafie Apdal demanded that the foreign ministry issue a stern warning to the Philippines.

Shafie had said the proposal was a violation of Sabah’s sovereignty and Wisma Putra should summon the Philippine ambassador in Kuala Lumpur to explain the matter.

In response to the map proposal, Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said on Twitter that he had made clear Malaysia’s stand on Sabah before.

“There is no question about it. Sabah will forever be a part of Malaysia,” he added.