Tracing the roots of Sabah claims – Dr. Paridah Abd Samad wrote…

We are taking a short break on researching Air Asia’s fraud to focusing on Malaysia’s intrusion by former President Marcos of Philippines that had recruited 300 Sulu trained army just for terrorising the Sabahan. Next post – The tale of two airlines – Espisode 2.

This article is written by Dr. Paridah Abd Samad;

INITIATIVE: Philippine leaders have, since Marcos, taken the effort to resolve the sovereignty issue; THEN Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos made a dramatic move towards normalisation of bilateral relations in 1976, just prior to an Asean summit meeting, when he stated that the Philippines no longer intended to press its claim to sovereignty over Sabah, though he did not officially drop it. The pronouncement, however, was never followed by any concrete action.

The dispute dragged on into the Corazon Aquino administration, which tried to resolve the problem through revising legal and constitutional provisions to drop the claim. The Philippine Constitution of 1987 no longer includes the phrase “by historical and legal rights” as part of the definition of the national territory. Also, Senate Bill No. 206, redefining the archipelagic boundaries of the Philippines, called for amendments to Republic Acts 5546, and it particularly excluded Sabah from Philippine territory.

However, Sultan Jamalul Kiram III’s denouncement of Aquino’s government for endorsing the bill without consulting him and bungling by the newly installed administration kept the bill from getting through the Senate, denying Aquino a diplomatic victory of the Asean summit in December, 1987.

The Philippines cannot just drop its claim to Sabah to patch up differences with Malaysia, as it must first consider the repercussions of such a decision on the politically unstable Sulu Archipelago. Sabah and Moro are interrelated in prolonging settlement of the dispute and in deepening the security concerns of the Philippine government.

The transmigration of mostly Filipino Muslim refugees to Sabah has put the Philippines in a favourable position because this has significantly contributed to reducing the Muslim population ratio and its resistance strength.

In 1970, Tunku Abdul Rahman played an important role in promoting international support for the Moro cause. As secretary-general of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (now Organisation of Islamic Cooperation), he endorsed the Moro case submitted to him in 1972 and asked King Faisal of Saudi Arabia and (Libyan) president (Muammar) Gaddafi to help in persuading other OIC member states to support it.

But Malaysia’s optimism and hope for a new and brighter chapter in Malaysia-Philippines relations remain unfulfilled. While the Aquino administration made the effort and took the initiative to drop the sovereignty claim on Sabah, it was unable to push through its initiative because of stumbling blocks. Senate Bill 206, which excludes Sabah from Philippine territory, remains unenacted.

Since no law has yet been passed on the dropping of Sabah claim, the Philippine government still has the option to actively pursue the claim through internationally accepted norms. By pursuing the claim, the Philippine government could promote the Philippines’ historic rights and legal title over Sabah, as well as the proprietary rights of the heirs of sultan of Sulu.

However, the 1930 treaty between the United States and Great Britain drew a precise boundary to separate their island possessions off the northeast coast of Sabah. The allocation of islands defined in these treaties was enshrined in Article 1 of the Philippine Constitution of 1935.

The Philippine claim has no known international support while Malaysia is morally supported by Great Britain and the Commonwealth of Nations in rejecting this claim. Even the US has assumed a position of neutrality. The other Asean countries, though discreetly distancing themselves form the issue since it involves two of their fellow members, also seem to silently acknowledge Malaysia’s right to the disputed territory.

For the Philippines to drop its claim to Sabah without concessions would mean outright recognition of Malaysia’s sovereignty over Sabah. Taking this position might also jeopardise the proprietary rights of sultan of Sulu. In general, choosing this option appears to be damaging the national integrity.

Malaysia gave a solemn commitment to satisfactorily resolve the proprietary claim with recognised Sulu heirs once the sovereignty claim is legally and finally dropped. It sees no linkage whatsoever between the two claims. Malaysia has always insisted that sovereignty and proprietary rights over Sabah are two separate questions.


It is hoped that President Benigno Aquino will resolve the Sabah issue amicably. AP pic

The writer is a former lecturer of UiTM Shah Alam and International Islamic University Malaysia, Gombak.

Malaysiaairlinesfamilies and AirAsiafamilies – Many Malaysians are still in the dark of the history on Sabah claims – However; do Malaysians still think BABI doesn’t know this or does he know much early when BABI met with the rebels of Sulu (AP picture)?

Misuari Buncit

Read this – An Autonomous Sabah promised by BABI if he becomes the next Malaysia Prime Minister.  The rebel in the picture with BABI declared war is imminent if Malaysia kills his fake Sultan Jamalul Kiram III’s brother.

The self-proclaimed Sultan Jamalul Kiram III

The descendants of the Sulu Sultanate have condemned self-proclaimed Sultan Jamalul Kiram III for instigating violence in Sabah.

Mudarasulail Kiram who is the son of the late Sultan Mahakuttah Kiram, and fellow claimant to the Sulu throne Sultan Bantilan Muhammad Muizzuddin II condemned Jamalul for putting the lives of the Tausug people in danger for his selfish agenda.

They called on their countrymen to immediately retreat and stop following the orders of Jamalul as he was not the real Sultan of Sulu.

It is wrong and un-Islamic to terrorise Sabah, especially as Malaysia has never oppressed the Tausug community, said Mudarasulail.

“Our target should be the Philippine Government which has oppressed us for so long,” he added.

Stressing that Sabah rightfully belonged to Malaysia, Mudarasulail said the Tausug community in the state risk being victimised because of Jamalul’s actions.

He also called on the self-proclaimed sultan to stop using the name Jamalul, as people like him who perpetrate violence should not use the sacred names of former sultans.

He said Jamalul had proclaimed himself sultan despite not being the biological grandson of Sultan Mawalil Wasit (who was the designated Sulu sultan after Sultan Jamalul Kiram II who did not have any direct heirs).

2 thoughts on “Tracing the roots of Sabah claims – Dr. Paridah Abd Samad wrote…

  1. Outstanding post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject?
    I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Appreciate it!

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