EXPRESSING doubt about the motive behind the allocation of the “$100-million Sabah Protection Fund [SPF],” the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo on Monday asked the Malaysian parliament to investigate the matter.
Abraham Idjirani, spokesman for the Sultanate, said they suspect that the fund will only be used by the Malaysian government to obscure their proprietary rights over Sabah.
“We are appealing to the Malaysian parliament to conduct an investigation into the matter because the fund might be used to sow black propaganda against the sultanate in the guise of economic development of Muslims in Mindanao,” Idjirani told The Manila Times in an interview.
He said the Sultanate has received information that in order to justify the allocation of $100 million to the SPF, it was included in the budget of the prime minister in the form of economic aid to Muslim communities in the Philippines.
The implementation of the SPF, he added, is allegedly being carried out by the Ma–laysian prime minister’s office in coordination with the Philippine government.
Idjirani said they are now studying all possible remedies in order for the sultanate to relay its appeal to the Malaysian parliament.
He said one of the remedies being eyed by the Sultanate is to ask the help of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), which has Malaysia as one of its members.
When asked on the OIC’s role in the territorial dispute, Idjirani said the organization could remind Malaysia that the issue of Sabah ownership is still pending before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Idjirani also blasted Malaysia for its statement that it would “move heaven and earth” to obsucre the sovereign rights of the Sultanate over Sabah.
He said they will also furnish the OIC with the 2004 petition they submitted to the United Nations (UN) that sought the declaration of independence of the Sultanate on Sabah.
“We will submit the petition for perusal of the OIC-member Islamic states to remind Malaysia not to resort to unilateral talks since our petition is still pending before the UN,” he said.
He said the petition to reclaim Sabah was filed on September 24, 2004, which was acknowledged by UN a month later.
However, he said, the UN required the sultanate to get an endorsement from a sovereign state to pursue its claim.