Sulu Sultanate Claims: Sabah people have chosen to be part of Malaysia – Hajiji


KOTA KINABALU – The claims of the heirs of the Sulu Sultanate over Sabah will never be acknowledged as Sabahans have chosen to be part of Malaysia, the Sabah state legislative assembly sitting was told today.

Sabah chief minister Datuk Hajiji Noor said the state government had never and would not acknowledge the claims.

“The people of this state have already decided to form a sovereign Malaysia that is recognised by the United Nations, the people have taken a firm stand so we do not recognise the claims at all.

“This stand is clear and should not be politicised,” he said when winding up the debate on Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin’s policy speech here today.

During the winding-up debate, Datuk Ewon Benedick (UPKO-Kadamaian) intervened and called on all Sabah assembly members, from the government bloc as well as the opposition bloc, to support Hajiji and the state government to reject the claims, which was greeted by strong support from the assemblymen.

Meanwhile, Hajiji said to enhance security in Sabah, especially in the state’s east coast, the federal government is planning to set up a General Operations Force (GOF) brigade, to be stationed in Lahad Datu and a battalion in the Kunak district.

He said apart from that new GOF control posts would be set up at Kuala Sungai  Manalunan, Kinabatangan and Kuala Maruap, Lahad Datu, as well as Forward Operating Bases off Banggi Island in Kudat and Mabul Island, Semporna.

Meanwhile, Hajiji said based on the initial Report of the 2020 Sabah Population and Housing Census, a total of 810,443 population in the state are non-citizens, representing 23 per cent of the total 3,418,785 people in Sabah.

“The state government will continue to work towards tackling the long-standing issues involving foreign immigrants.  On Feb 16, the state government had set up a cabinet-level special committee, chaired by deputy chief minister II (Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan),” he said adding that the committee would look for the best approach and submit all recommendations to the Cabinet within three months.