A river in Sabah, Malaysia. The author states that Sabahans pressing for better federal representation want to be a greater – not a lesser – part of Malaysia, and that the Philippines’ claim has no historical justification. Photo: Handout A river in Sabah, Malaysia. The author states that Sabahans pressing for better federal representation want to be a greater – not a lesser – part of Malaysia, and that the Philippines’ claim has no historical justification. Photo: Handout
A river in Sabah, Malaysia. The author states that Sabahans pressing for better federal representation want to be a greater – not a lesser – part of Malaysia, and that the Philippines’ claim has no historical justification. Photo: Handout
Bunn Nagara
Opinion

Opinion

Bunn Nagara

Why the Philippines has no justifiable claim to Sabah and never had

  • Manila’s move derives from the defunct Sulu sultanate’s disputed earlier claim to North Borneo when it was still part of the Brunei Empire
  • As the ruling against China in the South China Sea shows, international law does not recognise claims based just on historical interpretation

A river in Sabah, Malaysia. The author states that Sabahans pressing for better federal representation want to be a greater – not a lesser – part of Malaysia, and that the Philippines’ claim has no historical justification. Photo: Handout A river in Sabah, Malaysia. The author states that Sabahans pressing for better federal representation want to be a greater – not a lesser – part of Malaysia, and that the Philippines’ claim has no historical justification. Photo: Handout
A river in Sabah, Malaysia. The author states that Sabahans pressing for better federal representation want to be a greater – not a lesser – part of Malaysia, and that the Philippines’ claim has no historical justification. Photo: Handout
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Bunn Nagara

Bunn Nagara

Bunn Nagara is a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Perak Academy. For more than three decades he has worked in various mass media and think tanks in Asia, contributing analyses and commentary in journals, books, magazines, academic and training institutions and the print and broadcast media.