Malaysia reacts to Locsin’s take on Sabah, calls PH ambassador to explain

Published July 29, 2020, 10:34 PM

by Roy Mabasa

The Malaysian foreign ministry will summon Philippine Ambassador to Kuala Lumpur Charles Jose on Monday to explain what it described as “irresponsible statement” made by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. over the issue of Sabah.

Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein

“This is an irresponsible statement that affects bilateral ties. @MalaysianMFA will summon the Philippines Ambassador on Monday to explain. Sabah is, and will always be, part of Malaysia,” Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said in a tweet. 
Malaysia’s reaction stemmed from a tweet posted by Locsin on Monday, asking the United States Embassy in Manila to edit its post announcing their donations of 500 hygiene kits for Filipino repatriates from “Sabah, Malaysia.”
“Sabah is not in Malaysia if you want to have anything to do with the Philippines,” Locsin said in his tweet directed to the US Embassy.
In a separate post, Locsin told the US Embassy: “You better edit that announcement if you know what’s good for you.”
The US Embassy did not immediately reply to media queries.
Earlier in the day, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez declined to make a categorical stand when asked by the Manila Bulletin if the DFA is inclined to send the US Embassy a diplomatic protest over its post.
“DFA position has been given by SFA (Secretary of Foreign Affairs). Future reactions depend on succeeding actions,” Meñez said.
The Philippines has a historic claim over Sabah, formerly known as North Borneo.