Thursday, April 23, 2009
Source - http://www.sapp.org.my
Note : SAPP was a component party of the ruling Barisan Nasional, BN but pulled out of the coalition on 17 September 2008.
Kota Kinabalu, Apr 23, 2009: Sabah Progressive Party president (SAPP), Datuk Yong Teck Lee said that the recent release without charge of the persons who burned the Sabah flags sends a very dangerous message to many people in Sabah, particularly in the East Coast, that such treasonable actions are tolerated.
Yong further added that the "The New Sulu Times" that propagated anti-Malaysia propaganda was merely banned but no action was taken against the people behind it.
"A new publication by the same people can surface any time under another title. Whereas 'Malaysia Today' and other anti-BN websites have been shut down by the authorities, other websites claiming that Sabah is under the 'illegal occupation of Malaysia' are still active.
"In other states, people have been charged for insulting the Sultan and for protesting against toll hikes. Journalists and bloggers have been detained under the Internal Security Act. But in Sabah, people who committed treason by staking a claim on Sabah on behalf of a foreign power and burning state flags walk free. By claiming Sabah as belonging to another country, these people have ridiculed the Yang Di Pertuan Agong, the Sabah Tuan Yang DiPertua Negeri, our national Parliament, State Legislative Assembly and our Federal and State constitutions to which we have been sworn to uphold.
"These people had caused public anxiety. The entire anti-riot police of Lahad Datu district had to be deployed and top police officers were dispatched from their State headquarters on the same day. The efficiency of our police force is to be commended. Now, it is the duty of the State and Federal governments to do their part to safeguard the sovereignty and peaceful progress of our nation Malaysia.
"The Sabah Chief Minister in his winding up speech Wednesday had said of the "Sabah Claim"...
(a) Is an internal matter of the Philippines,
(b) The case has never been formally claimed in bilateral (Malaysia-Philippines) forum,
(c) Malaysia has never entertained this "non-issue" and the United Nations recognizes that Sabah is part of Malaysia,
(d) The Lahad Datu flag burning incident April 4 is an ordinary crime,
(e) The Philippines government has not given any commitment to establish a consulate in Sabah.
"With due respect, what the Chief Minister has missed out are (a) The "Sabah Claim" has now surfaced in Sabah by way of flag burning, "birth certificates" being issued by a foreign authority for children born in Sabah, printed publications and websites openly claiming that Sabah is not part of Malaysia. The "Sabah Claim" mindset among Filipinos is a psychological impediment to the long term solution to the illegal immigrants issue. It is already an open policy of the Philippines to refuse deportees from Sabah. In other words, the "Sabah Claim" is an internal matter of the Philippines that has vast implications on Malaysia's security.
"And (b) The "Sabah Claim" was raised in the "Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan case" before the International Court of Justice in 2001 when the Philippines asserted, unsuccessfully, "that its claim of sovereignty over North Borneo might be affected by the Court's reasoning or interpretations of treaties in issue between Indonesia and Malaysia.(ICJ 23 Oct. 2001) " This back door attempt to bring their claim on Sabah to the World Court shows that the Philippines is actively reviving this issue.
"Of course, the Philippines's revival of the "Sabah Claim' does not change the international law that Malaysia has sovereignty over Sabah and that the UN recognizes Sabah as part of Malaysia. Indeed, Malaysia, with Sabah as a state, is a creation of the UN in 1963. By necessary consequence and effective control under international law, the Philippines and the Sultan of Sulu have long ago lost sovereignty over any part of Sabah. So, international law is not the issue.
"The real issue is security. And the potential for conflict at a future date caused partly by false hopes among some people in the Philippines, and some illegal immigrants in Sabah, that somehow they, not Malaysia, are the rightful heirs of Sabah.
"The Philippines is the only neighbouring country not to have a consulate in Sabah. Brunei, Indonesia and Japan have full consulates here. Even France, Denmark, Slovakia, Britain, Finland, Switzerland, Panama, Bangladesh and Australia have honorary consuls in Sabah. As a comparison, the Philippines has consulates in Indonesian Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Surabaya other than the embassy in Jakarta. It is an open secret that the Philippines has refused to set up a consulate in Sabah because they deem it (a consulate) would be fatal in their claim for Sabah, the logic being that they (the Philippines) cannot set up a consulate in their own country. This is why the Philippines Embassy in Kuala Lumpur chooses to provide consular services to their citizens by sending officials to Sabah occasionally even though this long distance arrangement is causing hardship to their citizens here.
"Although we Malaysians believe that the "Sabah Claim" is a dead issue, on the Philippines side, this issue is kept alive as a form of "psychological warfare". It is reasonable to suspect that the Philippines are continuously preparing the Filipino psyche for a more effective claim on Sabah at a future date. For instance, Sabah (North Borneo) appears in their national maps. Note that "Malaysia" was not identified; just Sabah (North Borneo). Although Sabah (North Borneo) was shown to be separated by an international boundary, the appearance of Sabah (North Borneo) in their national maps reinforces their peoples' mindset that there is this place called "Sabah (North Borneo)" that is part of Filipino territory. Otherwise, it is absolutely not necessary for Sabah (North Borneo) to appear in their national maps.
"What is our Government doing about all these matters? We can reject the Philippines's Sabah claim but we should not ignore the dangers of anti-Malaysia elements championing it.
"If the Government policy is that we should not talk about the so-called Sabah Claim because Malaysia does not recognize it, then it must also show that such treasonable actions will be harshly dealt with. The burning of Sabah flags in Lahad Datu April 4 is a manifestation of the potential for trouble at a future date. Although the police found that the flag burning was the work of a tiny group, the authorities cannot be sure if the incident has the tacit support of a wider section of the community, both local and foreign. The flag burning, "The New Sulu Times" and websites promoting the "Sabah Claim" add to the mindset of anti-Malaysia elements that could germinate into a future threat to the Malaysia's security which should not be underestimated.
"In compelling the Philippines to set up a consulate in Sabah, our government should consider the suspension of their consular services conducted from KL, withdrawal of the Malaysian consulate in Davao, the suspension of the Philippine-owned Mindanao-Sabah ferry services and review the help that we extend to the Philippines in international bodies such as the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), which the Philippines desperately need. The Philippines must be made to understand that good relations with Malaysia will benefit them too." said Yong.