Malaysian-Filipino relations take a turn of the better

The DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, today (11.8.68) issued the following statement:

The Democratic Action Party welcomes the “cooling-off” period between Malaysia and the Philippines to allow normal and healthy relations to be re-established after the strain and tension between the two countries generated by the Filipino claim to Sabah.

The clouds of frenzy and hysteria in Manila are giving way to rays of reason and sanity, and stable and rational man who have the foresight to value regional co-operation and prosperity above intra-regional disputes and stagnation are asserting their influence in Filipino public life.

The Malaysian government, however, must not depart from the Philippines policy which the DAP has recommended. This is:

1. Remain firm in our rejection of the Sabah claims;
2. Refuse to be provoked or rattled by Filipino warmongers; and
3. Continue to speak the language of reason, friendship and dedication to South East Asian regional effort, to allow more like-minded Filipinos to re-assert themselves in the Philippines to de-escalate the rash of emotionalism, so that ASEAN can get on with the serious work of South East Asian re-development and reconstruction.

A running quarrel between the Philippines and Malaysia can do neither party any good, nor ASEAN and South-East Asian regional co-operation any good. It will only do everyone harm.

The “cooling-off” period will allow this message to get across to even more Filipinos.

We in Malaysia, on our part, should do all we can to extend our hand of friendship and goodwill to our fellow South-East Asians in the Philippines.

It would be an excellent gesture if the Government had made a donation towards the relief of thousands of people in Manila who were made homeless as a result of a major earthquake this month which is estimated to have killed about 400 people.

The Alliance government has made such gestures on other occasions affecting other countries, and it would be in the same tradition to give our helping hand for a humanitarian cause.

It is still not too late to make this gesture.

Non-government efforts could also be made by Malaysians and Filipinos to prepare the atmosphere and climate for restoration of friendship and goodwill between the two countries.

The formation of Malaysian-Filipino Friendship Associations in both countries, by prominent public men and women to emphasise the common future of South-East Asians instead of a divisive past, will also go a long way to defuse Filipino-Malaysian tension, and prevent the clock of South-East Asian co-operation form being put back for another decade by a second Confrontation in this region.

We hope the mass media, professional organizations, and public figures will be able to answer the call to help pave the way for closer Filipino-Malaysian friendship on the non-government level.

Audited on 2021-04-08.