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Saturday, May 28, 2016

No one can stake claim to Sabah as it has achieved independence

No one can lay their claims to Sabah as it has achieved its independence through Malaysia in 1963.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that Sabah would remain independent and its sovereignty would be protected by the security forces.

"No one can lay their claim on Sabah because it has gained its independence many years ago," said Najib to cheers from the crowd here today.

At the same time, the prime minister reminded Sabahans to always stand united and in solidarity under the Barisan Nasional umbrella as its security would always be protected from external threats.

He said based on past experiences, only the ruling coalition is able to maintain and ensure lasting peace and security in the state.

Najib added: "It is important to be patriotic; Malaysians need to be the eyes and ears for the security forces of the country as this will help to protect it from any threats."

Reminding Malaysians to remain loyal to the country, the prime minister said it was important that no one should become a wolf in a sheep's clothing by cooperating with the country's enemies as it could jeopardise the security of the nation.

At the event, Najib also performed the ground-breaking ceremony for the helicopter detachment infrastructure project as the forward operating base (FOB) for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).

Also present at the ceremony were Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Armed Forces chief General Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin.

The Cabinet in August last year, gave the green light for the Defence Ministry to implement the new project which would cost RM9 million and is geared towards protecting Sabah's airspace.

The helicopter detachment infrastructure will be built at the Lahad Datu airport and with this, the RMAF would be able to improve and increase their preparedness and security at the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) area.

The FOB would function as a transit centre and air support for various helicopters operated by the Malaysian Armed Forces that commute between Esscom and Lahad Datu airport.

Esscom was established after the Lahad Datu invasion in February 2013 which saw a standoff between a group of intruders from the Southern Philippines and Malaysian security forces.

Following the invasion of these intruders at Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu, a battle broke out and it resulted in the deaths of 10 security forces, one civilian and 67 Filipino intruders.

During a press conference after the ground breaking ceremony for the FOB, Najib said the claims made by the Sulu Sultanate from the Philippines was a non-issue.

He said Sabah has also reiterated its stand to be with Malaysia and the Cobbold Commission had determined that the people wanted to be with the formation.

Najib added: "This is a non-issue to me. It has also been stated in the international laws and no one can question the claims."

It was reported that incoming president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has asserted that his administration would be staking a fresh claim on Sabah.

Several Philippine dailies have reported Duterte telling a news conference in Davao City that his administration recognises Sabah as a Sulu sultanate territory that is being claimed by the Kiram clan.

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