Malaysia-Philippines Bilateral Relations: The Issue of Sabah Island

Naureen Nazar Soomro


The claim over Sabah by the Philippines is a disquieting issue for Malaysia and the Philippines’ bilateral relationship. The claim over Sabah or the North Borneo dispute as it is often referred to, is the claim of both states over much of the eastern parts of Sabah, one of Malaysia’s thirteen states. The Philippines declared its claim over Sabah in 1962 under the leadership of Diosdado Macapagal, the then Philippine President. The claim was communicated to the United Kingdom, which had possessed the area formerly. The article attempts to describe the origin of the dispute as well as diplomatic efforts made by Malaysia and the Philippines to resolve the issue. The conflicts that had occurred between the two parties over the issue and diplomatic efforts by both and by the international community at large would be explored and discussed.

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ASIA PACIFIC Research Journal of Far East & South East Asia is published annually by the Area Study Centre, Far East & South East Asia, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan.