slice of life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 September, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 September, 2004, 12:00am

From the South China Morning Post this week in 1968

President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines signed into law a bill aimed at putting Sabah under Philippine sovereignty.

The response from Malaysian Prime Minister Tengku Abdul Rahman was swift and firm. He termed the legislation of annexation 'a violation of Malaysian sovereignty and territorial integrity and a highly provocative act tantamount to aggression'.

Massive demonstrations broke out in several Malaysian cities and Kuala Lumpur recalled its ambassador and all diplomatic staff from the Philippines. Almost 1,000 university students, shouting anti-Manila slogans and 'Down with Marcos', stormed the grounds of the Philippine embassy in Kuala Lumpur, tore down a flag and trampled on it.

Malaysia abrogated a joint anti-smuggling pact, which had favoured Manila, and its forces went on nationwide alert.

Matters became more heated in Manila, when the US State Department said firmly that the US recognised the Federation of Malaysia without qualification, and that Sabah was part of Malaysia.

Five days after the bill was signed the two sides agreed to hold a summit meeting at a neutral site to settle their dispute.

A successor to the Portuguese premier was chosen to assume office immediately in the event of the death of the gravely ill leader, Antonio de Oliveira Salaza.

Doctors held little hope for the ailing statesman following a massive stroke.

The choice of Marcelo Caetano, 62, a law professor, was calculated to prevent a political vacuum.

Among the premier's medical team was one of America's top neurosurgeons, who had attended president Dwight Eisenhower.

John Chang, the 28-year-old son of a prominent Hong Kong businessman, admitted in a Pittsburgh court in the US to growing marijuana in his flat, but claimed it was only an experiment. Detectives said they found five marijuana plants, seeds and two pipes containing the residue of smoked marijuana when they raided Chang's flat.

The colony was suffering from presenting too rosy a picture overseas and this was interfering with aid from abroad, according to the director of the Lutheran World Federation, who suggested the government could help dispel the erroneous impression by publishing some indication that Hong Kong still needed help.

Karl Stumpf was commenting on dwindling overseas aid for social welfare programmes.

Kowloon Motor Bus was told to limit the number of passengers on its vehicles to what was authorised. The warning was made by a coroner's jury after an inquest into the death of a 15-year-old boy in a bus accident. A single-deck bus was carrying 64 passengers at the time - 22 above its limit - when it crashed into a hillside.

A youth was convicted of stealing seven sacks of duck feathers, valued at $2,000. He was fined $100.

An elderly Lithuanian couple emerged into the public eye after living a hermit-like existence in a hidden hillside cave on Sydney's North Shore for 17 years. They had survived on occasional handouts from local children and water from a nearby stream.

Stefan and Jennifer Pietroszys said they stumbled on the cave high on a steep hillside in 1948 after landing in Australia from a German displaced persons camp, and had eked out a living there since.

The USSR announced it had brought back to Earth its Zond-5 spaceship after a flight around the moon. The feat was a major step towards landing a man on the moon and put Russia well ahead of the Americans in the space race.

Marine police apprehended two Macau-registered fishing junks with 16 illegal immigrants on board. They were believed to have boarded the vessels in Macau. The illegal immigrants were detained until a decision was made on their fate.