Holes in Sabah history

Armed operation: Malaysian armoured vehicles on the road in Lahad Datu, Sabah, on March 4, 2013, responding to an armed incursion by followers of the self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu who crossed over to Sabah to stress the long-dormant claim. – Filepic/The Star

“THIS subject is too complicated and intricate to be disposed of without a good deal of research, but it seems the Governor’s fears as set out in paragraph 3 of his despatch are not well-grounded. Any concession the Sultan of Sulu may have made to the Americans would, I submit, exclude any concessions made by him previously.”

As expressed in this excerpt from minutes of a 1917 meeting between Charles Frederick Cunningham Macaskie and the British North Borneo Company’s Governor Alymer Cavendish Pearson, the Sulu claim to Sabah required research even back then. Macaskie was an English barrister who was the first chief justice of North Borneo (1934-1945). He later presided over a 1939 case of claims from the Sulu Sultanate.

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