KOTA KINABALU: The Philippines’ proposal to revive the defunct Office of North Borneo Affairs should be answered by Wisma Putra, says caretaker chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
“Let the Foreign Minister respond, ” Shafie told reporters at a press conference held after a meeting with locals in Papar on Tuesday (Sept 1).
Earlier Tuesday, Philippines’ Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr reportedly said he would revive the North Borneo Affairs office, which he claimed was an office under the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs.
The North Borneo Affairs office was dedicated to efforts to reclaim Sabah, which Locsin described as the “tropical island of Borneo”.
Manila has a long-standing claim on Sabah based on the historical ownership of the Sultan of Sulu over Sabah, which used to be known as North Borneo.
Malaysia has repeatedly considered it a “non-issue” as it interprets the 1878 agreement between the Sultan of Sulu and the British North Borneo Company as that of cession.
Malaysia has also said it does not recognise and will never entertain any claim by any party on Sabah, as it became a part of the country during Malaysia’s formation in 1963.
Recently, Philippines House Committee on Foreign Affairs had approved a Bill seeking the printing of the Philippines map through an amendment that includes its 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and Sabah on its passports.
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