Giving Sabah claimants the wrong signal: SAPP
Kota Kinabalu 24 April, 2009: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) wants
the Federal Government to take action against anti-Malaysia
elements, especially foreign citizens who caused disturbance in the
Its President, Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee said such elements that
could germinate into a future threat to the nation's security should
never be underestimated.
Referring to the Sabah flag burning by a group of people led by a
Suluk who claimed to be a descendant of the so-called Sultan of Sulu
on April 4, he said it is the duty of the State and Federal
governments to safeguard the sovereignty and peaceful progress of
In this respect, he said the recent release without charge of a
group of people who burned the Sabah flag in two places in Lahad
Datu sends a very dangerous message to the people, especially in the
East Coast, that such treasonable actions are tolerated.
He said it is perplexing that "The New Sulu Times" that propagated
anti-Malaysia propaganda was merely banned while "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", however, are still active, he said.
"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 burned State flags
walk free," he told a press conference.
He said that by claiming Sabah as belonging to another country,
these people have ridiculed the King, Sabah Head of State, the
Parliament, State Legislative Assembly and the State and Federal
What these people did, he said, has caused much public anxiety.
In fact, he said the burning of six Sabah flags in Lahad Datu on
April 4, is a manifestation of the potential for trouble at a future
"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," he said.
Regarding Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman winding up speech at
the State Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, he said the "Sabah
Claim" issue has now surfaced in Sabah by way of the flag burning.
Musa had said that the Sabah claim is an internal matter of the
Philippines and that the case has never been formally claimed in
bilateral (Malaysia-Philippines) forum.
Musa also said that the Lahad Datu flag-burning incident was an
ordinary crime and that Malaysia has never entertained this
Yong, on the other hand, said Musa failed to mention "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 and the emerging Sabah claim.
He said the Sabah claim mindset among Filipinos is a psychological
impediment to the long-term solution to the illegal immigrants
"It is already an open policy of the Philippines to refuse deportees
from Sabah," he said.
He said the Sabah claim was also raised during the Pulau Ligitan and
Pulau Sipadan case before the International Court of Justice in
The Philippines, he said, asserted, although unsuccessfully that "Éits
claim of sovereignty over North Borneo might be affected by the
Court's reasoning or interpretation of treaties in issue between
Indonesia and Malaysia (ICJ, Oct 23, 2001)".
But while the Philippines revival of the Sabah claim does not change
the international law that Malaysia has sovereignty over Sabah and
that the UN recognises Sabah, "the real issue here is security".
Yong said there exist a potential for conflict in the future caused
partly by false hopes among some people in the Philippines and some
illegal immigrants in Sabah that they, and not Malaysia, are the
rightful heirs of Sabah.
He said the Philippines is the only neighbouring country that does
not have a consulate in Sabah compared to Brunei, Indonesia and
"Even France, Denmark, Slovakia, Britain, Finland, Switzerland,
Panama, Bangladesh and Australia have honorary consuls in Sabah," he
As a comparison, he said the Philippines has consulates in
Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Surabaya in Indonesia apart from the
embassy in Jakarta.
He said it is an open secret that the Philippines has refused to set
up a consulate in Sabah because they deem it (consulate) would be
fatal in their claim for Sabah.
The logic being that they (Philippines) cannot set up a consulate in
their "own country", he said. It is for this reason, he said, why
the Philippines Embassy in Kuala Lumpur choose to provide consular
services to their citizens be sending officials to Sabah
occasionally even though this long distance arrangement is causing
hardship to their citizens here.
Yong said 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, he said Sabah appears in the Philippines national
maps' to reinforce in their people's mindset that Sabah is part of
Filipino territory. (Daily Express )