The Borneo Post (Sabah)

Decision to return Sipadan, Ligitan islands not new – Christina


KOTA KINABALU: The decision by the PN Government to return the management of Sipadan and Ligitan Islands to Sabah is not new, said former State Tourism, Culture and Environmen­t Minister Datuk Christina Liew.

The Tawau MP said the matter was deliberate­d upon and a commitment was made by the PH Government led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2019.

"It is heartening to note that the Federal Government today has made good the commitment by the then PH Government. We hope other outstandin­g issues pertaining to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) will be resolved in due course," Liew, who is also Api Api Assemblywo­man, said in a statement, Thursday.

In retrospect, she said it was widely publicised in July 2019 that the Federal Government at the time was ready to hand over the management of Sipadan Island back to Sabah.

According to her, it was public knowledge that then Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal had brought up the issue of Sipadan during several discussion­s with then Prime Minister Tun Mahathir when the latter chaired the Special Cabinet Committee on the implementa­tion of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

"I had made the request (for the management of Sipadan Island to be returned to Sabah) in several meetings, and Dr Mahathir agreed," Shafie had told reporters on July 9, 2019.

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