Thank you, Manila Times, for reminding your readers of this important issue. Sabah is a part of the sovereign territory of the Republilc of the Philippines. That is why up to now the Malaysian government gives a check every year to the Sultanate of Sulu for their rental of North Borneo as stipulated in the Lease Deed of 1878 between the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo and the businessmen Overbeek and Dents.
Malaysia’s claim over Sabah proceeds from the illegal, colonialist and imperialist act of the UK in 1946 to unilaterally abrogate all the documents and commitments of the British Government. These commitments were stated in the British Parliament by their prime ministers and the relevant ministers tasked with monitoring British possessions overseas that “the Sultan of Sulu has sovereignty over North Borneo.”
When Malaysia as a Federation was created, and it illegally included Sabah, President Diosdado Macapagal protested and had several Summits with his Malaysian and Indonesian counterparts. (I was a young man then and I don’t mind telling you and your readers that, in response to Manila Times articles and a particular page 1 headline “Mobilization for Sabah,” I was preparing to join a Filipino expeditionary force to enter Sabah and prevent it from being forcibly made part of Malaysia.) After each of these summits, documents were signed in which the Malaysian government stated that it recognizes that the Philippines has an outstanding claim on Sabah which is to be solved peacefully and legally.
And, as I stated above, Malaysia has continued to pay rent to the Sultanate of Sulu which has legally and formally handed over its sovereign title to Sabah to the Philippine government and state.
Fellow Filipinos, please realize that if Sabah physically returns to the Philippines its energy reserves (including oil) would become Philippine property and can help solve the miserable state of poverty of one-half of our population.
Indeed this is a case of grave imperialist injustice committed by the United Kingdom against the Muslim Filipinos of the Sultanate of Sulu and to the entire Filipino people in general.
By the way, please also realize that when our great patriot and national hero was being stressed by Spanish oppression, one of the things he wished he could do was –if allowed by the Spanish governor-general of the Philippines– to form a community in Sabah with his relatives and friends from Laguna. This shows by implication that Dr. Rizal was aware that North Borneo, while on lease to the British, was part of the Philippine imperial colony of Spain because it’s (Sabah’s) owner was/is the Sultanate of Sulu (part of the Philippine colony).
God forbid that President Aquino, his Foreign Affairs secretary, the Philippine military and police (if not the AFP and PNP heads) and the other members of the Cabinet are decided on surrendering our legal claim Sabah to Prime Minister Razak and the other the heirs in Malaysia of imperialist Great Britain.
Anima A. Agrava
Sta. Cruz, Manila