KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman has shot down a suggestion that the government settle the long standing Sabah claim by paying a “one off compensation payment.”
The defunct Sulu Sultanate’s claim over Sabah is long standing and in April 2013, Philippines gunmen had tried to press for the claim by “invading” Lahad Datu.
The siege ended with dozens of casualties and the death of two policemen a month later.
Bingkor state assemblyman Jeffrey Kitingan made the suggestion in the State Assembly on Wednesday.
“The claim should not be raised as Sabah is part of Malaysia,” said Musa.
Jeffrey agreed with the Chief Minister and highlighted the threats posed by the large number of Filipino illegal immigrants in Sabah.
“This is a breeding ground for them,” he said.
Kemabong assemblyman Rubin Balang, who chipped in, said there were no guarantees that the one-off payment would end the intrusions and related activities.
Tambunan assemblyman and Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan replied that since Sabah does not recognise the Sultanate’s claim, the question of any “one-off” payment does not arise.
Jeffrey held that the Sabah claim was tied up with the security issue.
He suggested, among other matters, the issuance of a special identity card just for Sabahans, presumably to weed out the foreigners having MyKad.
Klias state assemblyman Lajim Ukin, the Opposition leader, also called for the re-issuance of identity cards for Malaysians in Sabah.