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ICJ will rule in favour of M'sia on Sabah, says historian
Publication Date : 21-03-2013
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will rule in favour of Malaysia if the country agrees with the Philippines to contest the claim over Sabah at the world's highest court, said prominent Malaysian historian Khoo Kay Kim.
He said historical records and circumstances lean heavily in support of Malaysia's case, regardless of the validity of the historical claim over Sabah by the Sulu sultanate.
“I think if we agree with them (the Philippines) to go to the International Court of Justice, they will lose, just like they lost Sipadan,” Khoo said, in reference to the ICJ's ruling in December 2002, which granted Malaysia sovereignty over Sipadan and Ligitan islands.
The Philippines had attempted to intervene in the case between Malaysia and Indonesia, arguing that they also had a historical claim over the two islands.
The ICJ had ruled against the Philippines intervention.
Recent media reports in the Philippines quoted a senior government official as saying that they are “ready” to take their claim over Sabah before the international court, amidst an ongoing operation by Malaysian security forces to flush out Sulu invaders in Lahad Datu, Sabah.
The Philippine Star in an earlier report also quoted a senior politician as saying that the administration of President Benigno Aquino III had not given up the Sabah claim as they were spending so much in “getting lawyers to follow the legal processes”.
The basis of the Philippines' claim over Sabah goes back to the Sulu sultanate's historical claim over the territory, which proponents argue was only leased to the British North Borneo Company in the mid-1800s.
Khoo, who spoke to the press after a leadership forum on multiculturalism in Malaysia, organised by the Razak School of Governance, pointed out that the Philippines has little going for it in pursuing the claim.
“They have not been in charge of the island since 1873.
“More important still, the people of Sabah agreed that Sabah should be part of Malaysia.
“That was the findings of the Cobbold Commission before the formation of Malaysia,” he said.