Malaysia, Philippines in new spat over Sabah


The Philippines and Malaysia have renewed their quarrel about the territory of Sabah, one of Malaysia’s 13 states, after a controversial tweet by a Filipino diplomat.

Foreign Secretary Teddy Locsin, Jr. of the Philippines claimed on Twitter on July 27 that “Sabah is not in Malaysia,” asserting Philippine control over the territory.

His remark came as a response to a tweet by the US Embassy in Manila that introduced the US Agency for International Development’s donation of hygiene kits to Filipinos repatriated from Sabah.

As a result, Malaysia’s foreign minister Hishammuddin Hussein said he was summoning the Philippine ambassador over Locsin’s post.

“This is an irresponsible statement that affects bilateral ties,” Hishammuddin wrote, also on Twitter, adding that “Sabah is, and will always be, part of Malaysia.”

Which side are you on?

Sabah, on the northeastern tip of Borneo, is located about 500 kilometers away from the Philippines. Although Malaysia controls the territory, the Philippines has claimed Sabah since 1961 as a gift from the Sultan of Brunei to the Sultan of Sulu, now a region of the Philippines. Filipino politicians have sometimes used that history to suggest Sabah should be part of the modern-day Philippines

The tit for tat continued on Thursday as Locsin said that he had similarly summoned Malaysia’s ambassador in Manila.

In addition, former Philippine senator Joseph Victor Gomez Ejercito posted that Sabah “historically belongs rightfully to the Philippines,” which was commented by Locsin with “they also are allegedly secretly supporting the terrorists in the South. I suspect that a lot of funding and arms of these bandits coursed through Malaysia.”

Locsin later stepped up his attack against Malaysia, writing that “no country can tell another what it can and cannot say about what the latter regards as rightfully its own… That holds for Sabah.”

The Philippines and Malaysia have renewed their quarrel about the territory of Sabah, one of Malaysia’s 13 states, after a controversial tweet by a Filipino diplomat. Foreign Secretary Teddy Locsin, Jr. of the Philippines claimed on Twitter on July 27 that "Sabah is not in Malaysia,” asserting Philippine control over the territory. His remark came as a response to a tweet by the US Embassy in Manila that introduced the US Agency for International Development’s donation of hygiene kits to Filipinos repatriated from Sabah. As a result, Malaysia’s foreign minister Hishammuddin Hussein said he was summoning the Philippine ambassador over...


The Philippines and Malaysia have renewed their quarrel about the territory of Sabah, one of Malaysia’s 13 states, after a controversial tweet by a Filipino diplomat.

Foreign Secretary Teddy Locsin, Jr. of the Philippines claimed on Twitter on July 27 that “Sabah is not in Malaysia,” asserting Philippine control over the territory.

His remark came as a response to a tweet by the US Embassy in Manila that introduced the US Agency for International Development’s donation of hygiene kits to Filipinos repatriated from Sabah.

As a result, Malaysia’s foreign minister Hishammuddin Hussein said he was summoning the Philippine ambassador over Locsin’s post.

“This is an irresponsible statement that affects bilateral ties,” Hishammuddin wrote, also on Twitter, adding that “Sabah is, and will always be, part of Malaysia.”

Which side are you on?

Sabah, on the northeastern tip of Borneo, is located about 500 kilometers away from the Philippines. Although Malaysia controls the territory, the Philippines has claimed Sabah since 1961 as a gift from the Sultan of Brunei to the Sultan of Sulu, now a region of the Philippines. Filipino politicians have sometimes used that history to suggest Sabah should be part of the modern-day Philippines

The tit for tat continued on Thursday as Locsin said that he had similarly summoned Malaysia’s ambassador in Manila.

In addition, former Philippine senator Joseph Victor Gomez Ejercito posted that Sabah “historically belongs rightfully to the Philippines,” which was commented by Locsin with “they also are allegedly secretly supporting the terrorists in the South. I suspect that a lot of funding and arms of these bandits coursed through Malaysia.”

Locsin later stepped up his attack against Malaysia, writing that “no country can tell another what it can and cannot say about what the latter regards as rightfully its own… That holds for Sabah.”

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