Manila Not Behind ‘Sabah Is Ours’ Claim, Official Tells Anifah Aman

712
ANIFAH AMAN

By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
KOTA KINABALU: Manila is not involved in recent statements on issues pertaining to the claim on Sabah, Anifah Aman said Friday night.

The Foreign Minister said Alan Peter Schramm Cayetano, the Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary has clarified that that a renewed effort to claim Sabah in his country did not reflect the real stand of Manila.

Anifah said he was approached by Cayetano in Singapore during the Asean ministerial meeting recently, who clarified the matter, adding that Cayetano told him “he doesn’t want one statement to sour our relationship.”

He said during the Asean Foreign Ministers’ Retreat in Singapore recently, he did not raise the matter on the Sabah claim saying that such claims were never recognised by Malaysia and the Sabah state government.

Anifah with Apandi.

“But he said Cayetano had approached him to clarify that ‘because of politics, someone is trying to promote himself’,” adding that the Philippines Foreign Secretary did not mention any name.

“He (Cayetano) was saying Malaysia and the Philippines enjoy a good bilateral relation, so we do not want one statement to make our relationship go sour.

“I just said thank you very much and we fully appreciate the clarification,” he said when met by reporters at a programme with the Chinese community of the Kimanis parliamentary constituency here.

On another matter, Anifah said the My Sabah group together with Teo Chee Kang, the state Special Tasks minister and other state officials had met with Mohamad Apandi Ali, the Attorney-General in Putrajaya last Wednesday (Feb 7) to discuss the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

Anifah was quoted saying that Apandi had promised to look into the provisions, and he had requested it to be completed before the end of the month.

“I have requested to this so I could present this to the prime minister and the federal cabinet by end of February. That is the deadline. We will try to keep this deadline.

“Otherwise, I will keep following up on the matter,” he added.