SAPP to Putrajaya: Take action against anti-Malaysia elements
Kota Kinabalu, Apr
23, 2009: Sabah Progressive Party president (SAPP), Datuk Yong Teck
Lee said that the recent release without charge of the persons who burned the
Sabah flags sends a very dangerous message to many people in Sabah,
particularly in the East Coast, that such treasonable actions are
Yong further added
that the "The New Sulu Times" that propagated anti-Malaysia
propaganda was merely banned but no action was taken against the people
"A new publication by the same people can surface any time
under another title. Whereas 'Malaysia Today' and other anti-BN
websites have been shut down by the authorities, other websites
claiming that Sabah is under the 'illegal occupation of Malaysia'
are still active.
"In other states, people have been charged for insulting the
Sultan and for protesting against toll hikes. Journalists and bloggers have been detained under the Internal Security Act. But in
Sabah, people who committed treason by staking a claim on Sabah on
behalf of a foreign power and burning state flags walk free. By
claiming Sabah as belonging to another country, these people have
ridiculed the Yang Di Pertuan Agong, the Sabah Tuan Yang DiPertua
Negeri, our national Parliament, State Legislative Assembly and our
Federal and State constitutions to which we have been sworn to
"These people had caused public anxiety. The entire anti-riot
police of Lahad Datu district had to be deployed and top police
officers were dispatched from their State headquarters on the same
day. The efficiency of our police force is to be commended. Now, it
is the duty of the State and Federal governments to do their part to
safeguard the sovereignty and peaceful progress of our nation
"The Sabah Chief Minister in his winding up speech Wednesday had
said of the "Sabah Claim"...
(a) Is an internal matter of the Philippines,
(b) The case has never been formally claimed in bilateral
(c) Malaysia has never entertained this "non-issue" and the United
Nations recognizes that Sabah is part of Malaysia,
(d) The Lahad Datu flag burning incident April 4 is an ordinary
(e) The Philippines government has not given any commitment to
establish a consulate in Sabah.
"With due respect, what the Chief Minister has missed out are
(a) The "Sabah Claim" has now surfaced in Sabah by way of flag
burning, "birth certificates" being issued by a foreign authority
for children born in Sabah, printed publications and websites openly
claiming that Sabah is not part of Malaysia. The "Sabah Claim"
mindset among Filipinos is a psychological impediment to the long
term solution to the illegal immigrants issue. It is already an open
policy of the Philippines to refuse deportees from Sabah. In other
words, the "Sabah Claim" is an internal matter of the Philippines
that has vast implications on Malaysia's security.
(b) The "Sabah Claim" was raised in the "Pulau Ligitan and Pulau
Sipadan case" before the International Court of Justice in 2001 when
the Philippines asserted, unsuccessfully, "that its claim of
sovereignty over North Borneo might be affected by the Court's
reasoning or interpretations of treaties in issue between Indonesia
and Malaysia.(ICJ 23 Oct. 2001) " This back door attempt to bring
their claim on Sabah to the World Court shows that the Philippines
is actively reviving this issue.
"Of course, the Philippines's revival of the "Sabah Claim' does
not change the international law that Malaysia has sovereignty over
Sabah and that the UN recognizes Sabah as part of Malaysia. Indeed,
Malaysia, with Sabah as a state, is a creation of the UN in 1963. By
necessary consequence and effective control under international law,
the Philippines and the Sultan of Sulu have long ago lost
sovereignty over any part of Sabah. So, international law is not the
"The real issue is security. And the potential for conflict at a
future date caused partly by false hopes among some people in the
Philippines, and some illegal immigrants in Sabah, that somehow
they, not Malaysia, are the rightful heirs of Sabah.
"The Philippines is the only neighbouring country not to have a
consulate in Sabah. Brunei, Indonesia and Japan have full consulates
here. Even France, Denmark, Slovakia, Britain, Finland, Switzerland,
Panama, Bangladesh and Australia have honorary consuls in Sabah. As
a comparison, the Philippines has consulates in Indonesian
Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Surabaya other than the embassy in Jakarta.
It is an open secret that the Philippines has refused to set up a
consulate in Sabah because they deem it (a consulate) would be fatal
in their claim for Sabah, the logic being that they (the
Philippines) cannot set up a consulate in their own country. This is
why the Philippines Embassy in Kuala Lumpur chooses to provide
consular services to their citizens by sending officials to Sabah
occasionally even though this long distance arrangement is causing
hardship to their citizens here.
"Although we Malaysians believe that the "Sabah Claim" is a dead
issue, on the Philippines side, this issue is kept alive as a form
of "psychological warfare". It is reasonable to suspect that the
Philippines are continuously preparing the Filipino psyche for a
more effective claim on Sabah at a future date. For instance, Sabah
(North Borneo) appears in their national maps. Note that "Malaysia"
was not identified; just Sabah (North Borneo). Although Sabah (North
Borneo) was shown to be separated by an international boundary, the
appearance of Sabah (North Borneo) in their national maps reinforces
their peoples' mindset that there is this place called "Sabah (North
Borneo)" that is part of Filipino territory. Otherwise, it is
absolutely not necessary for Sabah (North Borneo) to appear in their
"What is our Government doing about all these matters? We can
reject the Philippines's Sabah claim but we should not ignore the
dangers of anti-Malaysia elements championing it.
"If the Government policy is that we should not talk about the
so-called Sabah Claim because Malaysia does not recognize it, then
it must also show that such treasonable actions will be harshly
dealt with. The burning of Sabah flags in Lahad Datu April 4 is a
manifestation of the potential for trouble at a future date.
Although the police found that the flag burning was the work of a
tiny group, the authorities cannot be sure if the incident has the
tacit support of a wider section of the community, both local and
foreign. The flag burning, "The New Sulu Times" and websites
promoting the "Sabah Claim" add to the mindset of anti-Malaysia
elements that could germinate into a future threat to the Malaysia's
security which should not be underestimated.
"In compelling the Philippines to set up a consulate in Sabah, our
government should consider the suspension of their consular services
conducted from KL, withdrawal of the Malaysian consulate in Davao,
the suspension of the Philippine-owned Mindanao-Sabah ferry services
and review the help that we extend to the Philippines in
international bodies such as the Organisation of Islamic Conference
(OIC), which the Philippines desperately need. The Philippines must
be made to understand that good relations with Malaysia will benefit
them too." said Yong.