KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The claims made by the Philippines that Sabah is part of its territory is baseless and irrelevant, said Malaysia's deputy foreign minister Kamarudin Jaffar.
Datuk Kamarudin told Parliament that the Malaysian government's stance on the issue has always been consistent and clear.
"Malaysia will never entertain, let alone recognise any form of foreign claim on Sabah," he told Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) MP Azizah Mohd Dun during Question Time on Thursday (Nov 12).
Datuk Azizah had asked the ministry to state the status of Sabah following claims made by the Philippines.
Mr Kamarudin said Sabah had determined its rights under an exercise of self-determination to be part of Malaysia as stated in the Cobbold Commission.
The report, he added, had been submitted to the United Nations on Aug 1, 1962, stating that more than two-thirds of the people of Sabah wanted to be part of Malaysia in 1963.
"On Sept 14, 1963, the United Nation's secretary-general had informed the meeting that Sabah had chosen to be part of Malaysia," he said.
Mr Kamarudin said every time the issue involving claims over Sabah resurfaces, the foreign ministry will take immediate action to counter and opposed it.
"This is either in the form of protest note, media statement or summoning the ambassador of the Philippines to the ministry.
"Such a move will reaffirm Malaysia's strong position on the matter," he said.
The Malaysian government, he added, is concerned and views the matter seriously and will take necessary action when the issue is raised.
"Malaysia will not bow down or budge in defending Sabah's position from any claim that tries to damage the state's sovereignty.
"Sabah is part of Malaysia," stressed Mr Kamarudin.