1878 Agreement Sabah

In January 1878, Sultan Mohammed Jamalul Alam granted part of northern Borneo, which he claimed to be an international trade union led by Alfred Dent, a London businessman, and Austrian baron Gustav von Overbeck. A few weeks before this concession, in December 1877, the Sultan of Brunei North-Borneo, including the entire area claimed by Sulu, had yielded to Overbeck and Dent. On July 15, 1946, the North Borneo Cession Order in Council, in 1946, declared that borneo state was annexed to the British crown, becoming a British colony. [36] In September 1946, F.B. Harrison, former Governor General of the Philippines, called on the Philippine government to protest the proclamation. America argued that Spain had never acquired sovereignty over northern Borneo and therefore had no right to transfer sovereignty claims over northern Borneo to the United Kingdom in the Madrid Protocol of 1885. [37] However, this argument is contrary to the 1878 treaty between Spain and the Sultanate of Sulu, which expressly states that the entire territory of the Sultanate of Sulu is ceded to Spain. Moreover, the American view may be based on a misinterpretation [according to whom?] of the part of the treaties of 1878 and 1836, which excluded Borneo from the transfer of Sulu to Spanish sovereignty (when the exclusion was in fact only about the Spanish protection offered to the Sultan of Sulu in case he was attacked). [Citation required] The U.S.-based government also refused to intervene in the dispute by formally maintaining a neutral position on the issue and continuing to recognize Sabah as part of Malaysia.

[best source required] [38] The above Sulu claim is based on the treaty that Sultan Jamalul Alam of Sulu appointed Dato Bendahara and Raja Sandakan on January 22, 1878. Another treaty, signed by Sultan Abdul Momin of Brunei, named Baron Overbeck Maharaja Sabah, Rajah Gaya and Sandakan. It was signed on 29 December 1877 and granted the territories of Paitan up to the Sibuco River,[24] which intersects with the claim of the Sultanate of Sulu to its domination in Sabah. In 1877, the Sultanate of Brunei believed and still affirmed that the area was under its control. [6] The key word in the agreement is the ambiguous term pajakan, a Malay term translated in 1878 by Spanish linguists and in 1946 by American anthropologists H. Otley Beyer and Harold Conklin as “arrendamiento” or “lease.” [10] [12] However, the British used the interpretation of historian Najeeb Mitry Saleeby in 1908 and William George Maxwell and William Summer Gibson in 1924, which Pajak translated as “Grant and Cede”. [13] [14] [15] [16] In the 1903 agreement, the ambiguous term “pajakan” was no longer used, but the phrase “kita telah kerahhai menyerahkan kepada pemerintah British North Borneo,” literally meaning that “we gladly surrendered to the government of British North Borneo,” was used in the agreement, confirming the understanding of the Sultanate of Sulu at the time of the previous agreement in 1878. [29] As confirmed by the International Court of Justice, the Sultan of Sulu renounced the regal rights of all his property in favour of Spain, on the basis of the “foundations of peace and capitulation” signed on 22 July 1878 in Jolo by the Sultan of Sulu and the Crown of Spain. [25] The sultan unchallenged the sovereignty of Spain over the entire Sulu Archipelago and its dependencies.

[26] In addition, the requirement, under international law, relates to the acquisition of sovereignty through the effective exercise of sovereignty, which is maintained for a reasonable period of time, without opposition from States.

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