UPKO calls for a united Sabahans against Philippines claim, demands Federal Government to strongly respond

PENAMPANG: The incoming President of the United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO) Datuk Ewon Benedick has come out to call for a united Sabahans against a Philippines senator who renewed call to stake their claim to Sabah.

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“A Philippine senator has again made a strong statement urging his government to further claim Sabah and even justify his assertion with the presence of 750,000 undocumented Filipinos in Sabah.

“This to me will not only create a crack in the diplomatic relationship but a possible war.

“I therefore urge all Sabahans to be united against this senator and against their intention. Sabah is ours and we must protect this land fearlessly,” said Ewon in statement today.

Senator Francis Tolentino of Phillipine during an interview with ABS-CBN news has asked his country’s Department of Foreign Affairs to seize the opportunity to stake the Philippines’ claim to Sabah following an arbitration award to the heirs of Sulu Sultanate.

Ewon who is also State Assemblyman for Kadamaian also demands Federal Government of Malaysia to strongly respond to Philippines government and take bold action against the undocumented Filipinos in Sabah.

“Their presence probably more than 750,000 and certainly poses security risk threat to Sabahans. It happenned before and it could happenned again. The time has come for the Federal Government to undertake political will to resolve this issue once and for all.

“This is an longstanding issue because Federal Governmeny failed to find a real solution. How long more we have to wait for real solution? Is Federal Government surrendering Sabah?” said Ewon.

Ewon also urged the Sabah Government to take the lead to pressuring Federal Government to resolve the undocumented Filipinos and illegal immigrants in Sabah.

“It cannot be that the State Government refused a motion on this issue to be debated in the state assembly and yet no real action is being taken to address the issue. Even in Kota Kinabalu, stateless children are disturbing traffic commuters asking for money. This make Sabahans really uncomfortable,” he said.

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