KUALA LUMPUR: Filipino senators demanding for the republic to stake a claim on Sabah are a political issue, says Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
“We know what is going on there and we are monitoring the reactions of politicians there who are cashing in on the situation because these claims have never been dropped by the Filipinos,” the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department( Parliament and Law) said during the question and answer time in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (Oct 6).
He added that Wisma Putra can only step in if it involves the government of the Philippines.
Wan Junaidi also said that Wisma Putra is aware that the matter has been raised by politicians and senators in the Philippines.
“During the era of President (Fidel.V) Ramos, it was supposed to be dropped but that did not happen. It remains a political issue. If there are no other political issues they will raise this issue," he added.
Wan Junaidi was replying to a supplementary question by Chan Foong Hin (PH-Kota Kinabalu) on the statements made by two Filipino senators Francis Tolentino and Robinhood Padilla who called for the republic to reclaim Sabah.
Padilla was reported as saying in August that he wanted the government to assist the purported heirs of the Sulu sultanate in asserting their commercial rights over Sabah.
Senator Tolentino made the remarks following a disputed US$14bil (RM62.59bil) award granted to the self-proclaimed heirs of the defunct Sulu Sultanate against the Malaysia Government by a Paris arbitration court.