by BERNAMA / graphic by MZUKRI MOHAMAD
MALAYSIA has once again reiterated its stance to never entertain or recognise any claim by any quarters on Sabah.
Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar said the claim on Sabah, particularly by the Philippines, was not only baseless but also irrelevant.
He explained that Sabah is a state in the Federation of Malaysia based on the decision of the Cobbold Commission in 1962, with the people of Sabah having exercised their right to self-determination for the status of their state to be in Malaysia.
The deputy minister said the Cobbold Commission report was submitted to the United Nations (UN) on Aug 1, 1962, and confirmed that more than two-thirds of Sabahans voted to join Malaysia in 1963.
“On Sept 14,1963, the UN Secretary-General reported to the UN General Assembly that the people of Sabah had chosen to join Malaysia. On Sept 16, 1963, Sabah officially joined the Federation of Malaysia,” he said in reply to Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun (Bersatu-Beaufort) on the status of the Philippines’ claim on Sabah at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.
Kamarudin said every time a statement on the issue of claims on Sabah arose, the Foreign Ministry will take immediate action to reject it by submitting a note of protest, issuing a media statement or summoning the Philippine Ambassador to the ministry to reaffirm Malaysia’s stance on the status of Sabah.
“The Malaysian government is very concerned and views seriously the action to raise the issue and will not budge in defending Sabah’s status from any quarters trying to tarnish its sovereignty,” he said.
Kamarudin, who acknowledged that the issue has been going on for the past 57 years, said the Perikatan Nasional government was committed to fully implementing the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), besides ensuring the wellbeing of the people in Sabah and Sarawak.
“The 2021 Budget, which was tabled recently, does not only see the highest allocation ever provided in the country’s history, but also for Sabah and Sarawak. This is among the actions to ensure that the people of Sabah fully support their presence in Malaysia and to fend off any attempt by any country to take over Sabah,” he added.