KEPALA BATAS – The government will not entertain Philippines’ claim on Sabah as it is part of a sovereign nation recognised by the United Nations.
Foreign Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican noted that the neighbouring country had brought up the issue numerous times; the Cobbold Commission 1962 had already emphasised that Sabah belonged to Malaysia.
“Sabah is part of Malaysia through self-determination as endorsed by the Cobbold Commission under the UN which is recognised worldwide,” he told reporters after the Penang level KAFA Teachers Day celebration here Saturday.
He was commenting on a recent report by The Philippine Star newspaper that incoming Philippines Rodrigo Duterte had vowed to pursue the country’s claim over Sabah.
The president-elect who had served as Davao City mayor for 22 years is expected to be sworn in on June 30.
In another development, Reezal Merican hoped non Muslims would be more open and respect the proposed amendment to Act 355 of the Syariah Courts Jurisdiction.
“Our friends of other religions must be given an explanation on the matter which is provided for in the constitution,” he said.
He said the amendment was aimed at strengthening the existing jurisdiction of the Syariah Courts and is not a new law.
On Thursday, Marang Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi tabled a Private Member’s Bill, Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) 2016 at the Dewan Rakyat. – BERNAMA