Last Activity: March 24, 2013
KOTA KINABALU: Historians insisted that Sabah belongs to Malaysia and cannot be claimed by others as Sabahans had agreed to the formation of Malaysia in a referendum held by the Cobbold Commission in 1962. Head of Social Science School History Programme, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Mosli Tarsat said historical evidence clearly shows the status of Sabah as a valid part of Malaysia and recognised by the United Nations (UN). Although Sabah, formerly known as North Borneo before the formation of Malaysia, was controlled and influenced by The Sultanate of Brunei and Sulu, the North Borneo Chartered Company, Japan and the British, but after 1963, the situation changed after the formation of Malaysia,” he told Bernama here today. The Cobbold Commission which held a four month referendum of Sabah and Sarawak for the formation of Malaysia received 2,200 memorandums with about 80 per cent of the people supporting the creation of Malaysia. The Commission’s report was submitted to the British government and Malaysia was formed by combining Malaya, Singapore, Brunei, Sarawak and Sabah (North Borneo). “Therefore, Sabah officially joined Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963 after gaining independence on Aug 31, 1963,” he said supporting a statement by Information Communications and Culture Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim that Sabah rightfully belongs to Malaysia according to international law and cannot be claimed by any party. In Kuala Lumpur, Prof Dr Ramlah Adam who also agreed with the statement by Rais said Malaysia is a sovereign state that is recognised globally. “As such, there is no question of claim by any party. The statement by the Information Communications and Culture Minister yesterday is historically accurate,” said the Main Fellow, Strategic Studies Unit, Universiti Malaysia Perlis when contacted here. Ramlah said the referendum on Sabah and Sarawak by the Cobbold Commission, is similar to the Singapore Referendum for the formation of Malaysia in 1962. “They cannot claim just based on history. For example, the Siam government handed Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu over to the British and cannot claim the states.” Ramlah said Malaysians, especially those in Sabah must be clear about the matter so that the country will remain peaceful and support national sovereignty.