KUALA LUMPUR – Aug 27, 2020: Former foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman has chastised Sabah caretaker chief minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal for allegedly giving legitimacy to the Philippines’ claim on the state.
Anifah, who is also the president of Parti Cinta Sabah said Shafie was being “reckless” for recently expressing his willingness to discuss and negotiate with the Philippines government over the matter.
He said by doing so, Shafie had automatically acknowledged the claim.
Lamenting Shafie’s lack of experience in dealing with the matter, Anifah said the caretaker chief minister’s “ignorance” had motivated the Philippines to make such a daring move.
“I blame the caretaker chief minister’s lack of experience or know-how for this blunder, which has led to the Philippines becoming braver with its baseless claims on Sabah,” he said.
He added that Shafie’s ignorance of history and international law could potentially harm Malaysia’s sovereignty.
Anifah also disavowed all legal recognition of the Philippines’ entitlement to Sabah, stating that any claim by the country over the state is “irrelevant” and that it should have not been given any legitimacy.
“Sabah is part of Malaysia and always will be. The act of caretaker chief minister Shafie in entertaining the claim in an international tribunal as he earlier explained, is akin to ‘gambling the fate of Sabah’s sovereignty’ at the hand of such tribunal.
“I would like to advice the current caretaker chief minister to take time and learn the language of diplomatic relations or leave the matter to be handled by the proper authorities in order to avoid further blunders in future with regards to our sovereignty,” he said.