Latest Stories

Indonesian president urges diplomatic solution to Sabah crisis


Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (2nd R) and his Hungarian counterpart Janos Ader (R) review an honor guard as they arrive for talks at the presidential palace in Budapest on March 6, 2013. AFP FILE PHOTO

DIGOS CITY, Philippines—Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is pushing for a diplomatic solution to the Sabah crisis, the Indonesian news agency Antara reported on Monday.

“I hope that the problem in the Malaysian state of Sabah between Malaysian security forces and a group of armed Filipinos could be resolved soon,” Yudhoyono said, according to Antara, which is monitored by the Philippine Daily Inquirer in Davao del Sur.

The Indonesian president said if the Sabah crisis was not resolved soon, he would “pursue a diplomatic approach in the near future, because it’s bad.”

“It does not mean that Indonesia will intervene in Malaysia’s internal affairs, no,” Yudhoyono said.

He expressed concern about the conflict that had claimed more than 60 lives and hoped that the two parties could find a peaceful solution to the problem.

Indonesia once had a territorial dispute with Malaysia over parts of Sarawak and Sabah. The dispute was later settled peacefully.

Indonesia and Malaysia share borders with Brunei in the former North Borneo, with Kalimantan as the Indonesian province nearest Lahad Datu, about 40 kilometers away.

At the height of Malaysia’s assault on the so-called “royal army” of the sultan of Sulu, many Indonesians fled their jobs in palm oil plantations in Lahad Datu.

Yudhoyono said he was also hoping that Brunei, as current Asean chair, “would take pro-active moves to help resolve the problem peacefully.”

“This is a sensitive issue,” he said. “We must not be indifferent to the problem,” he said.

The Sabah crisis was sparked by the sultanate of Sulu’s long standing claim on the territory, which was ceded to it by the Sultan of Brunei in the late 1800s.

When Malaysia gained independence from the British in 1962, Sabah–which was then overseen by the North Borneo British Co.–was annexed into the newly formed Malayan Federation.

The sultanate of Sulu has delegated its claim to Sabah to the Philippine government, which had not formally dropped its interest on the oil-rich territory.

“The problem must not be complicated further,” Yudhoyono said. “Therefore we must have the right stance,” he said, addressing Brunei.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Conflict , Diplomacy , Foreign affairs , Global Nation , Indonesia , International relations , Malaysia , Philippines , Sabah , Sultanate of Sulu , Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

  • http://twitter.com/good_fate Marmita

    While this is an ecouraging sign, Indon President issued this statement 10 days ago that partly prompted the Malaysian FM trip to Brunei mid last week. Geez!
    Why are you reporting it so late???

  • VeryDisgusted2

    The statement of the president of Indonesia is a big rebuke to Pnoy. It took an outsider
    statesman to see the big picture. Pnoy is still myopic to the situation and he is still blinded by personal and family business interests that tied him to the Malaysians. He is a treasonous president for reason that the interests of the nation take a back seat to his personal and business interest with Malaysians.

    Instead of spearheading the necessary diplomatic solution, Pnoy childishly “lost” Sultan’s series of request letters, refused to talk to the sultan, threatened to imprison the sultan and his men, and now imprisoned wounded refugees.

    The nation’s interests are being taken hostage by this treasonous president. He should be impeached together with his wicked justice secretary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sang.garudada Sang Garudada

    of course the people of Sabah will not want to join Philippines…look at your country, its full of failures…who want to join you?

  • Guest

    Message to Miss PurpleDaisy13,

    You like flowers, don’t ya? We should spend time looking at flowers rather than talking about the Sabah issues – where the clear winner had been established since the last 50 years.

    Liking flowers or not I am compelled to correct your misperception on the Sabah referendum conducted by Lord Cobold prior to the formation of Malaysia. I wish to bring your imiganation back to 1962 where you probably haven’t borned yet. Lord Cobold was tasked by the British Government to find out if Sabahans and Sarawakians wished to join Malaysia. During this time the question also applied to Brunei and Singapore.

    Now, you keep on attacking the genuity of the referendum in many of your posts; you tend to get carried away as it seems. Perhaps no one has pointed out to you to try to look at another angle especially the very people’s angles from Sabah as well as Sarawak. I am a Malaysian who was born and bred in Sarawak and from the Iban tribe. I am sincere in this particular post, in my effort to correct you (in my other post I was just playing around with Fillipinos forumers – hope no hard feeling on their parts).

    You see in the 60s, the local people of Sabah and Sarawak weren’t at all advanced. Education only managed to reach them in the hard way, there were very few schools, sometime through the effort of christain missionaries. People, especially the natives who made up majority of the population were widely illeterate, let alone understand what “referendum is”.

    In Sarawak the Iban tribe and the rest of the Dayak tribes were represented by their community leaders from the tuai rumah (longhouse chief), the penghulu (area chief) and the temenggong (the paramount chief). We didn’t have Sultan and never want to have one! Temenggong is good enough.

    The late Tun Temenggong Jugah who was the paramount chief, therefore played a prominent role and one of the Sarawakian leaders involved in bringing Sarawak to form Malaysia. In that sense, Temenggong Jugah spoke on behalf on the Ibans i.e although he was one person, one vote, he carried the power of delegations of hundred of thousands others. Until this day, the Ibans people have never really questioned or faulted the Temenggong to represent them in that decision. Similar set up applied to other comunities in Sarawak such as the Malays, Chinese, Melanaus, the Orang Ulu, etc.

    In Sabah it was also the same. Majority race in Sabah at that time was the Kedazans. Their paramount leader was the late Tun Fuad Stephens, who was a christain Kedazan but later on converted to Muslim. Tun Fuad carried the voices of thosuand people. Similarly for the muslim people it was the late Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun – he was the voice.

    You get the drip don’t you?

    It is a fact that pre-set to Malaysia, democracy was still in the womb, it hadn’t even been borned yet. You in your posts, you measured the referendum as if it is in a matured democrary, is it fair at all? So please be fair before you condemn the referendum. It isn’t small matter to us who had agreed to form Malaysia though our leaders.

    Hope the above enlightened you to a certain extent.

    • CommonSens6

      My friend kepala this goes back to the legality of the referendum. I understand and respect the rights of domain of the indigenous people in Sabah but there is proprietary rights involved here and which is legally tenable. If the Philippines get Sabah back there’s great chance it would become an autonomous state like what’s is being done with Mindanao. Now tell me honestly would you rather be ruled by the crazy Malayo or be an autonomous state and have the real democracy vs monarchy?

      • Guest

        My friend “Common Sense6″, you know I had heard before that we shouldn’t rely on common sense because it isn’t so common after all! hehehe.

        Well before I answer you, I have to say not everyone wish to be autonomous. The states in the United States are good examples, so why Sulu and Mindanao so insisting to break away?

        No offence to Phillipines, as I had said somewhere in my posts, we Malaysians have always treated Fillipinos as friends, but for us Malaysians to become part of Phillipines would be quite hard to swallow. It would be very disruptive to many of our lives.

        The fates of Fillipinos immigrants in Malaysia is beyond one’s ability to resolve. But before anyone condemning Malaysia on how these people are treated, you have to ask the immigrants themselves – would they rather live in Phillipines or to stay in Malaysia?

        Many years back, I had seen with my own eyes immigrant kids, from 7 to 10 years old offered to polish your shoes in Labuan, my heart ache in pitiness and I could imagine them as my own kids. Hope those kids had grown up to be ok now.

        Once, in a beach in Tanjung Aru, I saw an immigrant mother with 2 very young children, begging, I simply gave them a 50 bucks without second thought. But what can we do, it is their fate, immigrants wish to have better country to live in. Every country on earth have immigrants. But fact is we Malaysians seriously have nothing against the Fillipinos immigrants – the only things we aren’t happy about is that how come many of them are given blue Mykad and bumiputra status overnight? Whereas the Chinese and Indians who migrated here many 100 years ago considered as non bumiputra. Such special treatment to the Fillipinos, esp. the Suluks or the Tausugs!

        With that in mind, are we not allowed to feel a bit irritating when we get attacked by Tausug Militants? ; and secondly of being accused of many things. Where do we seek justice?

        Ok, to realy answer your question – if Sabah-Sulu crisis is a way to get independent or to be autonomous from Malaysia, I can assure you Sabahans will 100% say “no”.

      • CommonSens6

        Very well, you are a good man with a good heart. I respect you for that. Have a great day, my friend!

      • PurpleDaisy13

        re: “I have to say not everyone wish to be autonomous. The states in the United States are good examples, so why Sulu and Mindanao so insisting to break away?”

        Our US was not owned by Sultans Kepala Kecik. It was owned by the Native Indian tribes in which our US have already compensated financially or by land.

        Has Malaysia compensated the Sultan of Sulu under Fair Market Value for North Borneo (Sabah) Kepala Kecik? No

        Malaysia only pays $141 a month to rent North Borneo (Sabah) from the Sultan of Sulu when the entire land of North Borneo (Sabah) is worth Oil equivalent to more than $6,200,000,000 (billion) A YEAR.

        You think that’s fair Kepala Kecik? NoTHAT’S LAND THEFT by Malaysian lying-thieves.

        re: “if Sabah-Sulu crisis is a way to get independent or to be autonomous from Malaysia, I can assure you Sabahans will 100% say “no”.”

        You can’t assure 100% of nothing Kepala Kecik.

        You don’t know what 100% means. You’re just the same lying-malaysian thief who cannot accept that the 1962 Referendum is INCOMPLETE, FRAUDULENT, MISLEADING, and ILLEGAL.

        One thing you can assure is that millions of Tausugs still loyal to the Sultan of Sulu throughout Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia and condemn the Malaysian atrocity of bombing 220+ unarmed Filipino Civilian Tausug men, women, and children will not likely be tolerated.

      • headhunter

        That’s good let it all out, do tell when you have finished talking

    • PurpleDaisy13

      Kepala Kecik,

      First of all, educate yourself on how to call the attention of specific users directly through the use of the “@” sign followed by the recipient.

      re: “Lord Cobold was tasked by the British Government to find out if Sabahans and Sarawakians wished to join Malaysia.”

      And how does that make anything better Kepala Kecik? You think the British Government were the good guys here? Wrong

      First, they took the land of Brunei from the Sultan of Brunei and they took North Borneo (Sabah) from the Sultan of Sulu. And you think that a task initiated by the British Government is an unbiased authority? Wrong

      The Sultan of Brunei fought back to regain their land of Brunei through the Brunei Revolt since 1963. As a result, the British had no choice but to return the stolen land back to the Sultan of Brunei in 1984.

      In the case of North Borneo (Sabah), the British created the new civilization of Malaysians in 1963 as an accomplice to take the stolen land of North Borneo (Sabah) which belongs to the Sultan of Sulu.

      So then when you put all of the pieces together, you can see how Malaysia is nothing more than an accessory to the international crime of LAND THEFT and ’till this day refuses to return the land of North Borneo (Sabah) to the Sultan of Sulu.

      You just don’t see the bigger picture at all Kepala Kecik.

      re: “You see in the 60s, the local people of Sabah and Sarawak weren’t at all advanced. Education only managed to reach them in the hard way, there were very few schools”

      Exactly, and that’s how the people of Sabah were scammed and easily manipulated because they were uneducated to realize that the land they stood on was STOLEN and worth Oil equivalent to more than $6,200,000,000 (billion) A YEAR. While an incomplete, fraudulent, count of “sampled” survey was all it took to corrupt the United Nations.

      re: “We didn’t have Sultan and never want to have one!”

      Of course – you never knew you had one. Because North Borneo (Sabah) was being leased to a business entity known as the British North Borneo company. And even if you knew…it would still be meaningless because you’ve admitted that the local people of Sabah were not advanced and not educated much.

      The point is, I don’t care about your emotional problems and lack of education. Injustice has been committed against the Sultan of Sulu and there is NO EXCUSE in returning Justice back to where it should be.

      Just imagine, even after 50 years of the Sultan of Sulu trying desperately to recover his stolen land property of North Borneo (Sabah) through peaceful means and in the end only proving that “talks” are futile, especially when “ignoring” you is so easy to do.

      While the Sultan of Brunei achieved Justice through violence under the Brunei Revolt in just 21 years.

      So common sense should tell you that if you don’t return that of which does not belong to you, then be prepared for bloodshed throughout Malaysia for the next 21 years or until Justice and the land of North Borneo (Sabah) is returned to it’s rightful owner, the Sultan of Sulu.

      No And’s, If’s, or But’s.

      • Guest

        Good morning Miss PurpleDaisy13, hope you had a good night sleep. Thank you for your opinion. I have no intention to argue with you point by point but just pick one of your statements as an example:

        You said: “So then when you put all of the pieces together, you can see how Malaysia is nothing more than an accessory to the international crime of LAND THEFT and ’till this day refuses to return the land of North Borneo (Sabah) to the Sultan of Sulu.”

        Now I can understand your opinion that Sabah should be ruled by Sulu but to call the formation of Malaysia as an accessory of the international crime of land theft is rather overboard. It shows emotions govern reasons. Why do I say so? Simple, Malaysia was not formed by Sabah alone. There are 3 others major entities namely Malaya (and its 11 states), Sarawak and Singapore. All these parties had agreed to form Malaysia willingly and not by force. It was the birth of a new nation and no element of land theft whatsoever there.

        Take Sarawak for instance, James Brooke was granted the title of Rajah of Sarawak on 24 September 1841 by the Sultan of Brunei. Sarawak was then part of Brunei Sultanate and Brooke as a surbodinate to the Sultan.

        Following your logic and fervent argument amidst the emotions, Sarawak should also be returned to Brunei…duhhhh, I think I will look for some roses to give to some beautiful ladies…have a good day.

  • Matambaka

    ICJ Rules Out Malaysia’s Claim On Sabah

    CHICAGO (FAXX/jGLi) – F.B. Harrison is one of the major streets in Metro Manila but I wondered why. I only learned lately from a fellow Filipino cyberfriend, Jose Sison Luzadas, that when the Philippines’ seventh civilian American Gov. Francis Burton Harrison died in Flemington, New Jersey in 1957, he left a will that his remains be repatriated to the Philippines and be buried at the Manila North Cemetery in La Loma.

    When he was no longer the U.S. Governor General, Harrison became an advisor to Philippine Vice President and Foreign Affairs Secretary Elpidio Quirino. He presented to Quirino on Feb. 27, 1947 a copy of the Sabah Lease Treaty document in Malay language written on Arabic script translated by American anthropologist H. Otley Beyer of the University of the Philippines. Austrian Baron von Overbeck and British lawyer Alfred Dent told the Royal Colonial Institute on May 12, 1885 that the agreement they obtained from the Sultan of Sulu on Jan. 22, 1878 was for the lease of North Borneo and did not forfeit the Sultan’s sovereign rights.

    On June 26, 1946, the British North Borneo Company entered into an agreement with the British Government, transferring its interests, powers and rights over to the British Crown to become State of North Borneo. It became a British colony. Harrison called this arrogant and baseless move as British “political aggression.” He advised the soon to become young Philippine Republic to take the matter up before the United Nations.

    It caught the U.S. off-guard to protest the British violation of the 1907 Exchange of Notes between the U.S. and Great Britain and the subsequent Jan. 2, 1930 Convention. According to the International Court of Justice in a 2002 ruling in the dispute between Malaysia and Indonesia over the islands of Ligitan and Sipadan, the 1907 Exchange of Notes was “a temporary arrangement between Great Britain and the U.S. that did not involve a transfer of territorial sovereignty (but) merely provided for a continuation of the administration by the British North Borneo Company of the islands situated more than three marine leagues from the coast of North Borneo.”


    In rejecting a conditional surrender of the Sultan of Sulu’s Royal Army, who want Malaysia to settle the Sabah dispute, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak ruled out any negotiation on the dispute “that has been determined legally as far back as 1878 and subsequently by the referendum conducted by the Cobbold Commission ahead of the formation of Malaysia.”

    The Prime Minister might not have been told by his advisers that referendum for self-determination as far as Philippines’ claim to Sabah is concerned is out of the question.

    Based on the Indonesia-Malaysia dispute, the ICJ ruled that “effectivities” and sentiments of the people in the area for self-determination will only be at play if parties in the dispute do not have “treaty-based title” to support their claim. Both Indonesia and Malaysia did not have any documentary evidence to show in their claims. So the court turned to “effectivities” in coming up with the decision in favor of Malaysia.

    If the Philippines comes to ICJ, it will only be armed with the copies of the Lease Agreement of the Sultan of Sulu with Overbeck and the 1907 Exchange of Notes and the Jan. 2, 1930 Convention that ICJ had already ruled did not cause the transfer of sovereign rights from Spain to Great Britain. Malaysia would have the burden of overturning these evidence.

    In its case before the ICJ, Malaysia said “it was successor to the Sultan of Sulu, the original title-holder to the disputed (Sabah) islands, further to a series of alleged transfers of that title to Spain, the United States, Great Britain on behalf of the State of North Borneo.” But the ICJ said this argument cannot stand.

    After obtaining a lease treaty from the Sultan of Sulu, Overbeck relinquished his rights and interest over to Dent’s British North Borneo Company (BNBC). Dent applied for a Royal Charter with United Kingdom on Dec. 2, 1878 based on the lease treaty signed away by the Sultan of Sulu on Jan. 22, 1878.

    But in an official letter of Jan. 7, 1882, Earl Granville, then, head of the United Kingdom Foreign Office, stated, “The British crown assumed no dominion or sovereignty over the territories occupied by British North Borneo Company, did not grant the company any powers of government and (it) recognized the delegation of powers by the Sultan of Sulu in whom sovereignty remained vested.”


    So, when BNBC transferred its rights over to the UK on June 26, 1946, UK merely acquired powers delegated by the Sultan of Sulu, who retained sovereignty over the Territory.

    In the Capitulation of July 22, 1878, Art. I of the Protocol, it declared as “beyond discussion the sovereignty of Spain over all the Archipelago of Sulu and the dependence thereof,” following Sulu’s conquest by Spain in June 1878.

    The Sultan of Sulu revoked the lease of Jan. 22, 1878 and in September 1878, a Spanish warship attempted but failed to take control of North Borneo. This caused Great Britain to protest and a treaty among Great Britain, Germany and Spain was forged.

    In the Protocol of March 7, 1885, under Art. III, the Spanish government “renounces as far as regards the British government, all claims of sovereignty over the territory of the continent of Borneo, which belong, or which have belonged in the past to the Sultan of Sulu (Jolo) and which comprise the neighboring islands … from the coast, and which form part of the territories administered by the company styled the British North Borneo Company.”

    There was no logic on this protocol for Spain to renounce the property and sovereignty of the Sultan of Sulu in favor of the British. Spain did not get any incentive or tradeoff to give up the property and sovereignty of Sultan of Sulu’s Archipelago and Dependencies. When Spain signed the 1898 Peace Treaty with the U.S., the FilipinoKatipuneros aided by the U.S. beat Spain and Spain got $20-Million dollar to give up the Philippine and Sulu Archipelago, including North Borneo.

    When the Sultan of Sulu gave up its property to Spain, it was by conquest. But in the Protocol of March 7, 1885, there was no reason for Spain to give up the Sultan of Sulu’s property to Great Britain because Britain did not beat Spain in any battle by conquest nor gave Spain money or anything of value in exchange of Sultan of Sulu’s property, including North Borneo.

    That’s why when Spain signed the 1898 Treaty, the U.S. was able to keep the Sultan of Sulu’s Archipelago, including North Borneo, intact.

    When the U.S. pressed for the Sultan’s property under the 1898 Treaty with Spain, Great Britain did not object but rather sought an arrangement with the U.S. that would ensure continuity of BNBC’s administration of the Sultan of Sulu’s North Borneo that resulted in the Exchange of Notes of July 3 and 10, 1907 and the Jan. 2, 1930 Convention. The convention did not involve any transfer of sovereignty, according to ICJ. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

    • PurpleDaisy13

      re: “Jan. 2, 1930 Convention that ICJ had already ruled did not cause the
      transfer of sovereign rights from Spain to Great Britain. Malaysia would
      have the burden of overturning these evidence.

      In its case before the ICJ, Malaysia said “it was successor to the
      Sultan of Sulu, the original title-holder to the disputed (Sabah)
      islands, further to a series of alleged transfers of that title to
      Spain, the United States, Great Britain on behalf of the State of North
      Borneo.” But the ICJ said this argument cannot stand.”

      This is compelling information.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3GHRLDIOQBDNBI54IPJMWFP45A Johnny

    No shame itong si Aquino inuunahan pa siyang gumawa ng paraan ng Indonesia. Later on pagtatawanan tayo dahil sa quality ng leaders na nilalagay ninyo sa pwesto.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

    indonesia will kick out the malashits

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Napoles tags over 100 officials in pork scam – Lacson
  • Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  • Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  • 43 out of 414 Etihad passengers yet to be found, tested for MERS-CoV – Palace
  • Sandigan junks Marcos family claim to Paoay property
  • Sports

  • Rain or Shine holds off Meralco, forces Game 3
  • Power Pinays yield to Japan in Asian Women’s Club volleyball
  • Caguioa blasts ‘no heart, soft’ Ginebra on Twitter
  • San Mig Coffee grinds out win over Alaska to force decider
  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • SM to rebuild Tacloban hospital
  • PSEi slips after 4-day rally
  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • Marketplace