North Borneo (Sabah) Philippine Claim

Philippine Claim

In 1906 and in 1920, the United States formally reminded Great Britain that North Borneo did not belong to the Crown and was still part of the Sultanate of Sulu. However, the British did turn Sabah into a Crown leased Colony.[2]


The Philippine Constitution of 1941 states that the national territory of the Philippines included, among other things, "all other areas which belong to the Philippines on the basis of historical rights or legal claims." Malaysia was federated in 16 September 1963. Even before Sabah was incorporated into Malaysia, the Philippines sent delegations to London reminding the British Crown that Sabah belonged to the Philippines.[3]

The Sultanate of Sulu was granted the north-eastern part of 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 withSingapore, 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.[4] This is an act of British government before the federation and continued to the today's government of Malaysia.[5]


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”).[6] Less than a decade later, the Sultanate of Sulu came under the control of Spain and was forced to sign a document giving all of the Sultan's Properties in Palawan and Sulu (excluding Northern Borneo) to Spain. In 1885, Spain relinquished all of its claim to Borneo to the British in the Madrid Protocol of 1885.[7]


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 [see Madrid Protocol] 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 their own mandated High Court of North Borneo in Sabah on December 19, 1939, that the successor of the Sultan in the territory of Sabah was Punjungan Kiram and not Great Britain.[8]


On September 12, 1962, during President Diosdado Macapagal's administration (the father of the former 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.[9] 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.[10] To date, Malaysia continues to consistently reject Philippine calls to resolve the matter of Sabah's jurisdiction to the International Court of Justice.[11]Sabah sees the claim made by the Philippines' Moro leader Nur Misuari to take Sabah to International Court of Justice (ICJ) as a non-issue and thus dismissed the claim.[12]


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  1. We must pressure President Noynoy Aquino to actively pursue our claim to Sabah! It's time!

  2. We are thankful for this post, and want to remind the People of the Philippine to relax. The process is still on the go and we must assure that the Britain will pay all damages for this.

    We are gathering all the documents to contest it to the international court and rejection will mean "WAR"

    We don't care about the sayings that "War" both sides are loser, we just want to correct the previous mistake of Britain of ignoring the formal reminder of the United states of America.

    The Britain will would become restless in this matter after we will haunt all british constituent around the world to force them to correct their previous mistake that might lead to "War" and possibly the beginning of the "3rd world war"

  3. It sounds scary but I agree. What is the worth of living longer in this earth of the mistake remains to be a mistake.

    Not Great Britain will answer and pay damages. Good Plan...

  4. I got a good plan for this., watch and see. heads up! but What I can Say is Crazy Britain!. That the reason the many British came in Sulu were beheaded because Britain in the reason of this conflict. Still remain NORTH Borneo as Sabah is belong to the Philippines.

    * United States Of America Reminded Britain that North Borneo or Sabah is not belong to the Crown and still part of Sultanate of Sulu but British did not listen to the USA. I think It time to kill all British coming in to the Philippines

  5. British and Malaysian conspiracy...both of them should pay damages.....and they will in time...just wait.... I came to this world and I see them as beautiful people...but when I learned that she is the cause of my people's suffering !, i see them as bunch of robbers, taking others property. They occupy our Sabah Land and gave it away to Malaysia ...another robbers who is the receiver/conspirator of the act...though they know its wrong , yet still they proceed with their unacceptable manner of stealing...crazy idiots british and Malaysia...

  6. america...bakit niya kinampihan ang British noong matunugan na balak ng Pilipino Marcos regime na i-infiltrate anfg sabah at Salakayin ang Malaysia, baakit pinayagan ng Aamerica na even maglanding sa Clark Air Base ang mga British war planes para protectahan ang Malaysia...kataka taka ...makita natin ang ganyang kaabila na sa ating isip ay kakampi natin ang America...bakit kinonsinte niya ang BRitish sa bagay na ito na alam ng America na mali at alam din niya by History na atin ang Sabah...pero sa ngayon ay di na ako nagtataka dahil narealize ko sa case ng Marianas Islan/Guam na hanggang ngayon ay occupado pa niya. Marianas or Guam is part of the Philippine also by history...but by the end of wworld war 11 it was never returned to the Philippines...US Samaoa and Palau is also part of the Philippines but US never retuirned i to the Philippines after 2nd world war. Unbelievable America!!!its all conspiracy...they dont want us to advance or umunlad...they want to see us go down...what should we do what does this super powers wants to do with Philippines is ther someone we could turn to...maybe red china...hmmmmm hehehheh, joke lang mga kabayan...huwag wondering!!!lets alll stand and find ways to help resolve this growing problem of our coluntry...problem from Politicians who have nothing in mind but to enrich themselves...they dont care about our people....the Mindanao rebels, which were financed by the Malaysians and funds were from the product Sabah produces of 60 Billion dollars a much to make our own Philippines to advance supposedly.

    Firstly lets get rid of this traditional politicians in our country and replace them with young energetic and patriotics who care for our own people...punish Malaysian for creating trouble in our own backyard in Mindanao.

    Malaysia is doing all it can to doctrinate , recruit young muslim rebel wariors, train them, funding/invest in them, and arming them serve as Proxy for their staged plan to fight our Philippine government, our soldiers...the purpose is to divert our Government attention in fighting the rebels and that make them real busy and waste of resources for us conclusion : the malaysian is doing this as part of their strategic plan for the Philippines to forget pursuing or reclaiming Sabah...bcause ...the longer it takes for these claim to be pushed thru, the lesser our valid claim become effective and valid to the international court of justice as it will appear to be neglected and the pursuing party no longer interested...and in the end Filipinoes will never ever have the chance to see a Philippine flag in our Sabah land...all because of our national leaders lack of will to do their job to pusue our claim in Sabah...I hope sooner they realized that they should act alltogether and act asap .

  7. unless our national leaders/the ruling party is not in Malaysian payroll/bribing them...our claim in Sabah will be pushed thru...somebody should ring the bell for them to wake up!!!

  8. Ramos...set aside our claim in Sabah After Marcos...nasa payroll ka nga ba ng Malaysia?...lazy old man!!!! kaawaan ka sana ng Dios sa iyong ginawa....PInayaman mo lang ang sarili mo sa puwest at pinabayaan ang ang inasikaso ay ang gawing alila ng ibang bansa ang ating mga kababayan...

  9. Ninoy Aquino?...pagmamamahal nga ba sa bayan ang isiwalat mo sa boung mundo ang balak na pagbawi sa ating sariling Lupa?...Amng Pagbabalak na i-infiltrate ni Marcos sa Sabah para mabawi sana ang Sabah sa Malaysia ay isiniwalat ni Late Ninoy Aaquino ang Bagay na ito at naging sanhi ng kamatayan o pagkawala ng mga operating Agents nating sa SAbah/Malaysia...Hindi ko maituturing na bayani si Ninoy Aquino sa bagay na ito na kanyang ginawa...ipinagkait niya sa mga Pilipino ang susi ng pagunlad ng Pilipinas...dahil kung nabawi natin ang Sabah sana ay unti unti nang muling pagunlad ng Pilipinas dahil sa 60 -70 billion dollars na kinikita ng Sabah taon taon ...ito ay sapat na mabuhay ng masagana ang mga Pilipino kasama ang mga muslim brothers natin sa Mindanao at wala sanang gulo ngayon my own Ninoy Aquino ay di siya tunay na bayani ng iba...siya ay bayani ...ngunit kung titignaan natin sa kanyang mga ginawa tungkol pagexpose sa Pagbawi ni Marcos sa Sabah ...ay isang kataksilan sa bayan...para lang mabigyan siya ng paansin ng mamamayang Pilipino ng mga p[anahon na iyon....isinakripisyo niya ang kapakanan ng mamamayan para sa kanayang pansarili lamang... unbelievable...

  10. Now heres Ninoy son who they called P'Noy..sound seem patriotic..yet that he has to earn...he has to work for it, he was installed as president. What makes him stand out to make our Philippines progress and make our people live a happy peaceful life and withour War in southern Mindanao.....will he try or even lift a finger to pursue our claim in Sabah?...I doubt it ....If and when I see it that he does and is doing something for our people regarding Sabah...then he is able to make the rest of us to believe nhe is a hero for the whole of the Filipino people...until then everybody will celebrate it in his name....Mabuhay ang Pilipino....I love Philippines !!!!!

  11. I hope P'Noy is not like his Father.....iexpose ang sriling bayan sa kapahamakan at uunahin ang sariling kapakanan...tignan natin ang buting kanayang gagawin sa kanyang panunungkulan bilang presidente...

  12. hmmm...penoy gave 2 million$ to the moro rebels and 31 million$ to the ABB rebel (his fter and his pet rebel....pushing a case impeachment to the Chief Justice Colrona and interfering with its process conspired to with other alies to privatize Government propertie like geothermals put up by the Ex President Marcos and then the Aquino's Cojuangcos bvought it for themselves to monopolize all bussinesses in the country and at the same time control it, Poor Juan De la Cruz....


    Malaysia can claim the Spratly Islands and Sabah as theirs as Malaysia has the WILL & STRENGTH to protect and occupy both Spratly Islands and Sabah. While the Philippines cannot claims the Spratly Islands and Sabah, because all they can do is talk, talk, talk & talk and claim all over the internet, via blog, via facebook, VIA TWITTER & etc, without the WILL & STRENGTH. Why?

    1) Malaysia is the only country that successfully defeat the communist insurgent in the whole wide world. Malaysia & The Philippines communist insurgents problem started about the same time, but the Philippines until now cannot defeat the NPA communist, even after more than 40 years! If Philippne Army invade Sabah, the Malaysia Army will slaughter the Philippine Army just like we slaughter the communist decades ago. Now want to claim Sabah? Even the NPA, u guys cannot beat them, now what to take a fight with the Malaysia Army?

    2) Philippines Army are also facing insurgents group like MILF,MNLF & Abu Sayaf, & until now cannot even defeat one of them for decades now! Even the MILF u guys cannot beat, now want to fight the Malaysian Army?

    3) Philippine Army of 120,000 soldier cannot even defeat the 500-1000 Abu Sayaf fighter! Even 500 -1000 bandits also u guys cannot beat, now what to take away Sabah from Malaysia? What a shame.

    4) Philippine Air Force don't have any operational jet fighter!!! Malaysia have 18 Mig-29, 8 F-18 & 18 Su-30, all are considered the latest & the most modern fighter aircraft in the world. All are equipped with Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles. Philippine Air force don't even have an operational aircraft & NO air to air missile (forget about Beyond Visual Missiles), now shamely want to claim Sabah? The Philippine Air Force will be slaughter by the Malaysia Air Force like peanuts!

    5) Philippine Army don't have any Main Battle Tank. Malaysia have PT-91M Main Battle Tank. Maybe not the best in the world, but considered the best in this region. U guys don't even have an anti tank missile (ATM), now shamely want to claim Sabah? Our Malaysia PT-91M will roll over your soldiers away & blow away them to pieces easily.

  14. 6) Phillipine Navy have only 2nd hand World War 2 era ship that was build in 1943 as it's main capital ship. Donated by the Americans. Plus no surface to surface missile, only equipped with 76mm guns. Malaysia have tons of modern frigates, corvettes & Offshore Patrol ships, all equipped with the latest & modern electronic sensors & surface to surface missiles. It's going be a massacre if your navy want to pick a fight with our Navy. Now still want to claim Sabah?

    7) Philippine Navy have no submarine. Malaysia have 2 Scorpene submarines & 1 Quessant submarines. The Scorpene submarine is considered as one of the best & quitest submarine in the world with torpedo & sub-surface to surface missiles. The sub-surface missile, SM-39, can be fired underwater to target surface warship 50km away & equipped with GPS, in case want to fire at ports. Actually, Malaysia bought 4 Scorpene but claim only 2. Your navy don't even have a decent capability for submarine warfare & don't even have any submarine, now want to fight with a navy who have the most modern diesel submarine fleet in the region? Your World War 2 era ships will be massacred easily by our modern submarines.

    8) Finally, why did u guys always BEGGING from the Americans, South Koreans, Thais, Singaporeans, Australians and China to give you guys FREE or CHEAP 2nd hand military hardware? Why do u guys need to BEG from them? Most of donated 2nd hand ships should be scrapped anyway, but because u guys keep BEGGING from them, they feel pity to this little child & give it away for FREE or CHEAP to u guys. Can u guys have dignity & buy those military hardware using your own money instead of BEGGING from other countries to supply it for u guys? And please, if u want to buy any military hardware, don't buy a 2nd hand one, buy a brand new ones. If u guys still buy 2nd hand military hardware instead of brand new ones, it just show how cheap & poor u are. U guys cannot even buy a brand new military hardware, always BEGGING from other countries for 2nd hand ones, now want to claim Sabah?

    There any many more I want to write, but I guess its enough for today. Your own mess inside your country also cannot handle, now want to take care of another new territory. In your dreams lah...

  15. Hey listen,,,, its not donation, because the Philippines will pay for it not in a rightaway cash but in term of loans.

    Understand? its not FREE.. That is Why the Philippines spent already more than $1 Billion USD every year for such stuff

    The government it paying for everything the they receive.. it si ti clear now? NO donation happen okay?

    Before you comment read and understand about the system Do not just comment like a fool without any knowledge of the system.



  18. Philippines will rise from ashes remember that.

  19. This should taken to the UN!! regardless if Malaysia or Britain wants or not. If this kind of issues continues, soon the whole Philippines will be eaten by our neighboring countries because our government is weak! The fucking Philippine government should stop STOP their nonsense bouts with each other in the fucking Philippine Senate and should start doing something for the country. Claim OUR RIGHTS OF SPRATLEYS AND SABAH!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Puro away sa senado, pati putanginang simbahan na yan nakikielam sa POLITICS! Mga gunggong, away kayo ng away, hindi nyo na napapansin inaagaw na sa atin ang teritoryo natin, Eto namang magaling (daw) na presidente Noynoy, kinokonsinte ang senado, gagu! makielam ka!! Puro ka pabango, nakakalbo ka na wala ka pa nagagawa sa mga tunay issue ng bayan!! shit naman! talagang nahihiya ako sa gobyerno natin, lakas makakampanya puro bulok naman at kagaguhan ang pinaggagawa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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