Feb 22, 2013

Who’s to blame for ‘Sabah standoff’?

‘What’s happening in Sabah is the consequence of decades of neglect by the government to pursue a legitimate claim to the territory.’

WHAT’S called the “Sabah standoff” between Malaysian special forces and a band of followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III of Sulu is really the latest in a long series of attempts to claim what used to be North Borneo, a territory owned by the Sultanate of Sulu and ceded to the Philippine government long, long ago..

The very first time the Philippine claim came into being was during the administration of then President Diosdado Macapagal, who raised the issue before the United Nations soon after the formation of the Federation of Malaysia that included the North Borneo territory, renamed “Sabah,” in 1963. Macapagal claimed that the territory was “ceded” to the Philippine government by the Sultanate of Sulu, but the people in Sabah opted in a UN-supervised referendum to join Malaysia. Succeeding administrations of Presidents Ferdinand E. Marcos, Corazon C. Aquino, Fidel E. Ramos, Joseph “Erap” Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo also tried but failed to pursue the “Philippine claim to Borneo.” And when President Noynoy Aquino came to power, he neglected the Borneo claim, seemingly unaware of the existence of the Sulu sultanate, and even left it out during the peace negotiations between his administration and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that eventually crafted last year the so-called “framework government,” which, significantly, was sealed in Kuala Lumpur in the presence of Malaysia’s top officials.

It’s no wonder that Sultan Kiram dispatched a contingent of 1,000 followers, led by Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin Liram to that remote town of Lahad Datu in Sabah, which he called “our home.” He and other heirs of the Sulu sultanate, in fact, have been receiving yearly rentals from the Malaysia government for occupying that territory. As shown by historical records, it was gifted to the Sulu sultan by the Sultan of Brunei for helping him quell a rebellion in his kingdom in 1704. Then, in 1878, the Sultan of Sulu leased the land to the British North Borneo Company, but, without informing the Sultanate, turned it over to the Federat5ion of Malaysia.

Now, according to news reports, the Sabah standoff has “infuriated” President Aquino, that he suspected it’s a plot to “sabotage” his “peace initiatives” to end the long simmering conflict in Mindanao between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). His peace negotiators must have whispered to him that Kiram’s action was instigated by Nur Misuari, chieftain of the National Liberation Front (MNLF), along with Aquino’s uncle, former Tarlac Congressman Peping Cojuangco, aunt Margarita Cojuangco, now a senatorial candidate under the banner of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), and Norberto Gonzales, former national security adviser of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

If anyone is to blame for what could end up in a bloody clash between Kiram’s group and the Malaysian special forces, the fault lies in Noynoy Aquino, not in anyone else!


They say that the Philippine claim to Sabah is “dormant.” That’s because Aquino and his foreign policy officials, especially his so-called “peace negotiators,” have ignored the fact that that territory is now in the hands of Malaysia instead of the Philippines.

The best proof of ownership is the fact that to this day Malaysia continues to pay the Sultanate of Sulu the equivalent of $1,500 as “lease payments,” a virtual acceptance that the Malaysian government does not own the territory. Not only this, the same territory had long been ceded by the Sultanate to the Philippine government, and the failure of the present administration to assert its right of ownership over it ever since President Aquino came to power three years ago.

As other political commenters have noted, why isn’t the Grand Pooh-bah of Malacañang Palace defending the Sulu Sultanate’s territorial claim over Sabah, which is also the legitimate claim of the Philippine government, with the same ardor as he has given the ancestral claim of the Filipino Muslims to parts of Mindanao as their homeland?

Shouldn’t the President protect those men of Sultan Kiram in Sabah?


Quote of the Day: “Men love their country, not because it is great, but because it is their own!” – Senica

Thought of the Day: “Love of country is like love of woman – he loves best who seeks to bestow on her the highest good.” – Anonymous


Interesting article and I tend to agree with its logic and insight.

The one thing I would want to say is this, the Americans have been giving Fidel Castro rent cheque as well for Guantanamo bay, which is clearly an illegal invasion by the USA of Sovereign Cuban territory.

The US is claiming Gitmo is a leasehold based on an old treaty signed by the former puppet dictators of Cuba when Cuba was invaded by the USA and made a vassal state just like the Philippines remains today.

However there is one difference!!!,.... ever since the revolution.....Fidel has not banked/Cashed not one cheque from the US Government and every year a cheque is sent to Fidel and every year it is not banked or cashed !

So my question is?, are those cheque's issued by Malaysia banked by these Filipino terrorist groups that have invaded Sabah or not? If it is banked?

It is then an interesting legal and important question in its own right as to the legality of any Philippine claim to Sabah?
You can rent a property and be the perpetual leaseholder forever can't you?

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