PAPAR, Sept 2 ― Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein should be the one to respond to the Philippines’ latest plan to revive an office dedicated to claiming Sabah, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.
“Leave it to the Foreign Affairs Minister to respond,” said Shafie briefly when reporters met him during an event at Dewan Salleh Surong here yesterday.
Last Friday, in another press conference, Shafie had stressed that the Philippines’ claim on Sabah should be an issue that is placed on the country’s agenda instead of being used as a political tool.
Earlier yesterday, it was reported that Philippine’s Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr wanted to revive the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) North Borneo Affairs which is dedicated to efforts to reclaim Sabah.
The newspaper, The Inquirer, had reported that Locsin had implied that its official had received significant offers of “bribes” over the years to drop the matter.
The Filipino newspaper also reported that the Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the United Nations had submitted a note verbale, a form of diplomatic communication, dated last Friday.
It said the note verbale read that Kuala Lumpur “has never recognised the Republic of the Philippines’ claim to the Malaysian state of Sabah, formerly known as North Borneo.”
The newspaper added that Malaysia highlighted the October 2001 decision by the Judgement of the International Court of Justice on Manila’s claims over the disputed state. ― Borneo Post