The Philippines and Malaysia has never been on good terms, especially when it comes to the topic of Sabah.
Throughout the years, the Philippines has been spending a lot of effort to ‘claim’ Sabah, from court cases to randomly photoshopping the Philippines flag into Sabah territories. However, it appears that the battle has not taken to new heights with something changing the names of Sabahan landmarks on Google Maps.
According to Kosmo, someone had been altering the names of several iconic buildings and destinations within the East Malaysian state to place them under the “ownership” of the Philippines.
Some of these affected landmarks include Sandakan Airport (changed to “Sandakan Airport of the Philippines), Tawau Tanjung Market, and the Tangkulap Forest Reserve (changed to “Philippine Republic Tangkulap Forest Reserve).
Apart from that, it was reported that Kota Marudu Hospital on Sabah’s east coast was named “Hospital Kota Mardu Philippines” on Google’s main search engine a couple of weeks ago.
As of the time of writing, all affected landmark listings on Google Maps have been amended to reflect their correct names and sovereign ownership.
Naturally, this incident did sit well with Malaysians, especially the locals, and many find the changes rude and insulting.
Taking it to Facebook, Kota Kinabalu’s Member of Parliament Chan Foong Hin stressed that Sabah is a “sovereign state within the Federation of Malaysia” and said that he will be writing a protest letter to the Philippine embassy and Google.
Many netizens also believed that the incorrect information is linked to the Sulu claimants’ case in the French arbitration court.
Last month, Malaysians were surprised when a Luxembourg court ordered the seizure of two Petronas subsidiary firms that are worth more than US$2 billion (≈RM8.87 billion).
However, the Paris Court of Appeal later opted to stay the ruling, with the reason being that enforcing the penalty could be a problem for Malaysia’s sovereign status as a nation.
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