LAHAD DATU: Anifah
debunks Sulu sultan's claim to Sabah
CLARITY: 'Cession money to sultan's heir was
for handover of Sabah'
KUALA LUMPUR: FOREIGN Affairs Minister Datuk
Seri Anifah Aman has debunked claims that
the RM5,300 annual payment made to the heir
of the sultan of Sulu is for the rental of
Sabah to Malaysia.
In TV3's Soal Jawab programme on Wednesday
night, with Media Prima executive director
(news and editorial operations) Datuk Ahmad
A. Talib, Anifah said the payment of cession
money was for the handover of Sabah.
"The 1878 agreement between Alfred Dent and
Baron von Overbeck of the British North
Borneo Company and the sultan of Sulu at
that time stated that the sultan of Sulu
ceded the region of North Borneo
permanently, and the heir is entitled to
receive annual payment of 5,300 Mexican
Pesos. It is not payment for rent, but as
"We have never recognised any outside claims
that Sabah does not belong to Malaysia and
these claims are non-negotiable. I feel sad
because this group is claiming that Sabah is
"Let me stress that there will be no
compromise of our country's sovereignty and
integrity," he added.
Anifah said Sabah was recognised by the
United Nations as a part of Malaysia.
He said both he and Philippine Foreign
Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario were
puzzled as to why the "sultanate" was
staking a claim over Sabah at a time when
both countries would be facing general
"This case has been weathered. We (he and
del Rosario) are questioning why this
incident is happening now," he added.
On reports that a specific party had
"invited" the terrorists into Malaysia,
Anifah said there was a possibility certain
parties might take advantage to create a
serious crime for their own political
He quoted a report from Reuters which said:
"Another Philippine military officer said
the men were followers of the heirs of the
sultan of Sulu -- an island group off the
southern Philippines -- who had been invited
to Sabah by a Malaysian opposition
politician to discuss land issues."
To this Anifah asked, "Could there be a
possibility that the report by Reuters has
its basis with what is happening?"
The allegations, he said, did not come from
Malaysia but came from someone in the
He said he had suggested that del Rosario
conduct investigations to ascertain the
"Maybe there are certain parties that do not
want Malaysia or the leadership of the
Malaysian government to be recognised.
"It is not impossible that there are people
who are spiteful of the Barisan Nasional
leadership led by our prime minister, Datuk
Seri Najib Razak, which has excelled and
gained recognition internationally."
Anifah added that the intruders were
labelled terrorists because they had come
into the country illegally armed with
weapons and engaged our security forces in
"They have no respect for our authorities
and human rights. This is a terrorist act.
Even with numerous discussions and dialogue
sessions with the Philippine foreign affairs
secretary, what has happened cannot be
"However, both del Rosario and I agree that
we will continue discussing the best
possible way to resolve this matter without
further bloodshed," he said, adding that
Malaysia had given leeway and extended the
deadline to surrender four times.
Many people had asked why the deadline was
extended four times and Anifah explained
that the prime minister had said that if the
Malaysian government does not give their
best efforts to solve the crisis, worse
things might take place.
Anifah clarified that extending the deadline
did not mean that the Malaysian armed forces
were weak, but it was to respect the strong
bilateral ties between Malaysia and the
"Both Najib and President (Benigno) Aquino
want it solved in the best way, thus agreed
that we will work out the best diplomatic
way to end it.
"President Aquino had also urged the
terrorists to surrender and return to the
Philippines, and had promised us that legal
action will be taken against the terrorists.
"Only if needed and if both countries agree,
will we proceed with an extradition order
which will resolve it faster and easier."
Anifah said that even though Malaysia does
not have an extradition treaty with the
Philippines, extradition could be done in
the spirit of Asean and would depend on what
was best for both nations.
While defending the nation, Anifah said a
settlement could not be done without
considering the relationship Malaysia has
with neighbouring countries.
"We are lucky to be living in a country that
is free from natural disasters, and
sometimes we are ungrateful for the
blessings that we have.
"This is a challenge that we have to face
together and be united to safeguard the
sovereignty of our country and eliminate
personal gains for the benefit of our future
DATU: Anifah debunks Sulu sultan's claim to
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