Philippines' claim over Sabah

Interesting writeup on Wikipedia about the Philippines' claims over Sabah...what a legal minefield:

The Sultanate of Sulu was granted the territory as a prize for helping the Sultan of Brunei against his enemies and from then on that part of Borneo was recognized as part of the Sultan of Sulu's sovereignty. In 1878, Baron Von Overbeck, an Austrian partner representing The British North Borneo Company and his British partner Alfred Dent, leased the territory of Sabah. In return, the company was to provide arms to the Sultan to resist the Spaniards and 5,000 Malayan dollars annual rental based on the Mexican dollar's value at that time or its equivalent in gold. This lease was continued until the independence and formation of the Malaysian federation in 1963 together with Singapore, Sarawak and the states of Malaya. As of 2004, the Malaysian Embassy to the Philippines had been paying cession/rental money amounting to US$1,500 per year (about 6,300 Malaysian Ringgits) to the heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu.[6]
The contract between Sri Paduka Maulana Al Sultan Mohammad Jamalul Alam, representing the sultanate as owner and sovereign of Sabah on one hand, and that of Gustavus Baron de Overbeck and Alfred Dent representing the North Borneo Company, on the other as lessees of Sabah, was executed on January 22, 1878. The Lease prohibits the transfer of Sabah to any nation, company or individual without the consent of His Majesty's Government ("Government of the Sultan of Sulu").[7] Although it is mentioned to be a permanent lease, it is contrary to international law, which states that the terms for a lease contract can only be for 99 years, as in the case of Hong Kong and Macau when these were leased to Great Britain and Portugal respectively, by China and subsequently returned after the expiration of the lease.[citation needed] This would make the lease on Sabah overdue by 130 years.[citation needed]
Less than a decade later, the Sultanate of Sulu came under the control of Spain and in 1885, Spain relinquished all of its claim to Borneo to the British in the Madrid Protocol of 1885.[8] In spite of that, in 1906 and 1920 the United States formally reminded Great Britain that Sabah did not belong to them and was still part of the Sultanate of Sulu on the premise that Spain never acquired sovereignty over North Borneo to transfer all its claims of sovereignty over North Borneo to Great Britain on the Madrid Protocol of 1885. This is so because the Sultan of Sulu did not include his territory and dominion in North Borneo in signing the treaty of 1878 recognizing the Spanish sovereignty over "Jolo and its dependencies." North Borneo was never considered a dependency of Jolo. However, the British Government ignored the reminder and still annexed the territory of North Borneo as a Crown Colony on July 10, 1946. This was in spite of the fact that the British Government was aware of the decision made by the High Court of North Borneo on December 19, 1939, that the successor of the Sultan in the territory of Sabah was the Government of the Philippine Islands and not Great Britain.[9]
On September 12, 1962, during President Diosdado Macapagal's administration (the father of the present Philippine president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo), the territory of North Borneo, and the full sovereignty, title and dominion over the territory were ceded by the then reigning Sultan of Sulu, HM Sultan Muhammad Esmail E. Kiram I, to the Republic of the Philippines.[10] The cession effectively gave the Philippine government the full authority to pursue their claim in international courts. The Philippines broke diplomatic relations with Malaysia after the federation had included Sabah in 1963. It was revoked in 1989 because succeeding Philippine administrations have placed the claim in the back burner in the interest of pursuing cordial economic and security relations with Kuala Lumpur.[11] To date, Malaysia continues to consistently reject Philippine calls to resolve the matter of Sabah's jurisdiction to the International Court of Justice.[12]


Malaysia is illegally occupying North Borneo(Sabah).

North Borneo(Sabah) really belongs to the Sultanate of Sulu, The Philippines!
aaron. said…
Truly Sabah is the Philippines, Malaysia just cannot ever discuss the issue, because the issue at stake could amount to a large portion of their land. And so it is with every other nation unwilling to let go of land that is not theirs because it would cost them too much to do justice to those oppressed.

Still there is hope that Sabah or even a portion of it can return to its rightful sovereign, that of the Sultan of Sulu and thus to the Philippines.

It is interesting to note that among the strength the House of Islam has together, they conveneniently turn a blind eye to the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu, could it be because lending an ear could bring the land to a Christian nation? Something their Jihad cannot tolerate?
Philippine Policy Towards its sabah Territory:
I came across your blog and this post about Sabah. I read the same article from Wikipedia, was pleasantly surprised because it has citations and references. The legal landmine would be on Malaysia's side. Malaysia has been stonewalling discussing this, but still pays a ridiculous amount of rent to the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu. For them to discuss "rent" or even mention a "claim" woould mean a quagmire for them. Malaysia is an artificial state, a concoction of the Brits. I'm sure as a Singaporean you know all about that. Malaysia got a wonderful gift from the Brits with Sabah, rich in oil. I'm sure they're hoping that after time, it will go away. Alex B/Toronto
Anonymous said…
It's true! It's ridiculous that Malaysia still pays the Philippines that cheap! This is one of the legal basis of the Philippines. Malaysia will definitely loose this claim. That is why they are exploiting the minerals of this territory as much as they can. Greedy people.

Damir Miranda/Utah, USA
PNoy should stand firm with the Philippine claim over North Borneo(Sabah)!
jessie said…
the territory was the territory spratly is for philippines and sabah is for philippines
this what we were fighting for
The pretender sultan of sulu cannot even put his hands on Sulu as a sovereign ruler. And he wants to claim Sabah. What a joke!
The real sultan has already given his consent to join Malaysia. The Philipine tags along because they are also afraid real sultan will also claim all of Sulus to be part of his dominion. Which means some part of Phillipines shall should have been part of Malaysia too.