Sabah has been given by the Sultanate of Brunei to the Sultanate of Sulu as a gift for the latter’s military assistance to the former in the year 1703. Several years later it was leased back to the British company based in Brunei by which, as what was agreed upon between them, the company will provide arms to the Sultan to repulse the Spaniards in the Philippines and an annual rental of 5,000 Malaysian ringgits based on the Mexican peso value at that time or its equivalent in gold. Malaysia has continued the rental payment up to the present time. It was the British who, upon granting Malaysia its independence in 1963 opted Sabah to form the new Malayan state by which to also include Singapore, Malayan peninsula, and Sarawak.
It was not until the presidency of Philippine president Diosdado Macapagal in the year 1962 that the Sabah claim by the Philippines has been formalized based on the Sultanate of Sulu heirs’ claim on the said territory. The late and only Philippine president who later on became a dictator Ferdinand Marcos almost made it to take Sabah back from the Malaysians by force. He trained young Muslim recruits from Mindanao secretly in the island of Corregidor as part of the force that will invade Sabah. But when the said operation has been leaked out to the media, all the young trainees were eliminated except for one that survived by swimming across the sea towards the mainland Luzon. Upon learning about the aborted mission by the Philippine government, Malaysia somehow retaliated by giving support to the rising number of Muslim rebels from Mindanao who were so much angered by the massacre of their brothers in Corregidor island.
These heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu have earlier announced that they will not leave the area and will fight to the death whenever necessary and to stay in the land they have called their own. Malaysian troops as well will only be following orders from their boss and is every now and then waiting for the go signal. The Philippine government lead by the commander in chief himself, Philippine president Benigno Aquino III must act and carefully address for the peaceful resolution of the said stand-off as soon as possible to avoid bloodshed. He must have the initiative to draw ignorance out of the picture while, at the same time, bringing the issue into the light of historical truth and stand by it.