Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on August 29 reacted to repeated claims of Philippine politicians and officials in the recent past that its easternmost state of Sabah would be a territorial part of the Philippines.
“Sabah is a part of Malaysia and the federation wholly rejects the Philippines’ claim on the state,” he said in a public speech during his maiden visit to the Sabah as prime minister.
He added the federal government would not – under any circumstances – make any concessions over Sabah’s status and the country’s sovereignty.
“We will never concede to this claim. Sabah will remain in Malaysia. It is an integral part of Malaysia and we will fight to the very end to defend Sabah, there is no compromise,” Yassin added.
He also said the federal government will continue to protect the state against any intrusions and undocumented migrants.
Saban printed on Philippine passport country map
The statement came after the Philippine house committee on foreign affairs approved a substitute bill earlier in August, requiring the reprinting of the country’s map, including its 200-mile exclusive economic zone and Sabah, on Philippine passports.
Cagayan de Oro representative Rufus Rodriguez reportedly said the move was aimed at emphasising the Philippines’ victory in the West Philippine Sea issue over China in the international arbitral tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, and its legal and historical rights over Sabah.
The state of Sabah, formerly North Borneo, was formed in 1963 when the British retreated from their colonies in the region. The state was united with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore, to form the independent Federation of Malaysia which Singapore left in 1965.