Malaysia - Philippines conflict over Sabah: PH politicians exploited the issue

Posted in the Canada Forum

Peace Watch

Edmonton, Canada

#1 Mar 6, 2013
Philippines’ Sabah ghosts come back to haunt Aquino

By Edwin Espejo Mar 05, 2013 10:59AM UTC

asiancorrespondent .com

More than 40 years ago a young senator delivered a speech in the Philippine Senate exposing a cabal hatched by then President Ferdinand Marcos to invade Sabah under codename ‘Operation Merdeka’.

A group of young Muslim recruits was covertly trained in an island off Manila Bay for an invasion of Sabah, now a flashpoint in the diplomatic relations between Malaysia and the Philippines, according to the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III talks about the Sabah standoff at a news conference in Malaysia Monday. He has been widely criticised for his handling of the incident.

The botched plan to invade Sabah led to the massacre of all but one of the 28 Muslim recruits. He later revealed the harrowing ordeal as they were mistreated by the government soldiers who trained them, and later executed many of them.

While the late senator denounced the Jabidah Massacre (also known as the Corregidor Massacre), he never renounced the historical Philippine claim on Sabah.

In the years that followed, after Martial Law was declared in 1972, the Philippine government essentially abandoned its sovereign assertion over the mineral-rich Sabah region of Borneo. While it has not legally and diplomatically renounced its claim, it has failed to seriously pursue its case before any international bodies and courts.

Following the outbreak of the Moro rebellion in Mindanao in the 1970s, Philippine governments wisely shied away from pursuing any claims on Sabah as Malaysia was then viewed as a potential source of materiel and financial support for the Moro rebel forces.

Malaysia would later play a major role in the peace agreements between the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) of Nur Misuari and the Ramos administration and the ongoing peace talks between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Malaysia, in fact, is the third country facilitator in the GPH-MILF peace talks that the Philippine government says it is now winding up. Obviously, Malaysia has its own agenda in agreeing to broker the peace negotiations – Sabah being high on the list.

(READ MORE: In Malaysia, fear grips Borneo’s Filipino population)

Given these contexts, it would now be diplomatic suicide for the present Philippine government to entertain any thoughts of reviving the Sabah claim even if some 280 armed “followers” of the heirs of the Sultan Sulu are now holed up in an island off Sabah in mainland Borneo and engaging Malaysian security forces in armed confrontation. As of this writing, 27 have been killed from both sides from what the Malaysian press is now describing as an invasion. But for the Filipino ‘invaders’, their foray into Sabah is always a “journey back home.”

“China, follow Internat'l Law!”

Since: Jun 12

United States of America

#2 Mar 8, 2013
Malaysia's rejection to take the issue to the International Court is a clear sign that she CANNOT PROVE her CLAIM.

COMMON SENSE PLEASE.

Why is MALAYSIA scared of the International COURT?

ask your self.

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