Respect M'sia Agreement for Sulu Claim to weaken
KOTA KINABALU, April 9, 2013: The next Federal Government will have to
honour, recognise and respect political autonomy to Sabah, as promise in
the Malaysia Agreement, which is the basis for the formation of Malaysia
Any attempt to depart from the "letter and spirit" or the formation of
Malaysia will only fortify and intensify the Sulu / Philippines claim of
Sabah, cautioned President of Sabah Progressive Party ( SAPP ) Datuk Yong
Speaking at SAPP's second "Kopitiam Ceramah"at the Foh Sang shops here,
Saturday, Yong focused mainly on the perennial issue of Sabah Claimwhich
recently cropped up following the bloody intrusion of Sabah by Filipino
militant calling themselves the Royal Army of Sulu Sultanate, in Lahad
He reminded that within the Malaysia Agreement is Article 8 (A) which
talked about the Inter 每 Governmental Committee (IGC) Report between the
govenments of United Kingdom, Malaya, Singapura, and at that time North
Borneo Sabah and Sarawak.
That IGC Report contains the Cobbold Commision Report, which in turn
contains all the recommendations and the spirit of the "20 Points".
"The gist of all these, including various undertakings by the British
Government and the Malayan Government then, is that Sabah will be
autonomous 每 a sovereign state within Malaysia. The basis of Malaysia is
the Malaysia Agreement which also grants autonomy for Sabah and Sarawak.
"They ( the Philippines and Sulu Sultanate ) claimed that Sabah is not
part of Malaysia ( based on the Malaysia Agreement ). This has now been
highlighted and that if Malaysia were to try to depart from the letter and
spirit of the formation of Malaysia, then the Sulu Claim will come in," he
"Between the Sulu Claimed i.e. that Sabah is no longer part of Malaysia or
autonomy for Sabah, I think the choice for the Federal Government is very
obvious," he added.
"For instance, you cannot say our coastline is too wide and, therefore,
cannot protect us, because security was the main guarantee given to Sabah
for forming Malaysia. You cannot claim our maritime area is too wide to
guard when you are also extracting oil and gas from our maritime area,"he
Although legally the Philippines has no right to claim Sabah, Yong
highlighted the politically and psychologically they have been keeping the
issue alive all these years, by having all these maps that prominently
showed Sabah as part of its sovereignty.
"Politically and psychologically, the Philippines are keeping the issue
alive by telling the Filipinos there is this place called Sabah / North
Borneo that they have a claim to," he said, adding there is no mention of
Malaysia in the map showing Sabah, only Sabah / North Borneo.
The former Chief Minister was also of the opinion that the Feb 12 invasion
of Sabah by the Filipino militants was far from over and may take the
Government a long time to deal with it.
"It's not the end,it was only the ICU ( intensive care unit )treatment.
"Now we have to go for rehabilitation and recovery, and that will take 20
years, don't listen to Jimmy Wong ( Sabah DAP Chief ), who claimed that it
can be solved within one day," he said.
He attributed the wrong approach to the top politicians and civil servants
in Kuala Lumpur who don't understand the mindset and the psychology of
both the Sabahans as well as from the neighbouring Philippines.
"This is partly the failure of Sabah Government for not putting the
Federal Government on the right track," he said. He stressed that what the
Government should do is to get the perspective right, and one of the
pressing issues is concerning the land-grab by government-linked companies
He cited for example, little support for the Government among the
villagers in and around Kg Tanduo during the instrusion because Felda has
been grabbing lands from villagers.
"Felda have been very crude, at times, even rough with villagers.They even
dug a huge drain almost like the Palestine settlement type, to bar
villagers from entering certain areas which are now claimed by Felda and
that has made the people very angry.
"When the dust has settled, the anger among the local people there built
up over the year will become more apparent. Now that the ICU stage is
over, we are not on the right track. We must get to see the full
He was also of the opinion that the beefing up of the security and its
infrastructures, in the east coast of Sabah, may not necessarily deter
"It's like putting up iron grills or posting part time security guards in
your house when the neighbourhood is already infested with socio-economic
problems and you think that your security guards and iron grills can look
after you," he said.
Yong stressed that to properly and effectively resolve the issue there
must be a serious regional effort to revive the now idled BIMP-EAGA (
Brunei 每 Indonesia 每 Malaysia 每 Philippines East Asia Growth Area )
"That's very important for a regional economic prosperity especially in
the Southern Philippines, so that it would create a situation whereby most
of the illegal immigrants will voluntarily return to their country of
origin, just like what happened in China where a majority of the Chinese
migrants in Hong Kong have returned to Shenzheng," he explained.
As reported in DE