Justice Minister repeats Malaysia will win Sulu’s claims to Sabah in international dispute after first task force meeting

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The de facto justice minister said the task force discussed legal actions taken by the government in Spain and France over the claim and annual payment of RM5,300 to heirs during its first meeting. — Photo by Shafwan Zaidon

By Zarah Morden

Friday 05 August 2022 16:30 MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 – The government’s special task force to handle the international dispute over Sabah by the alleged heirs of the late Sulu Sultanate held its first meeting last Wednesday, Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar revealed today.

The de facto justice minister said the task force discussed legal actions taken by the government in Spain and France over the claim and annual payment of RM5,300 to heirs during its first meeting.

In the latest development of the legal wrangle, Wan Junaidi said Putrajaya succeeded on July 12 in having the French court grant a stay against the execution of arbitrator Gonzalo Stampa’s “final award” in favor of claimants Sulu. , which was released on February 28. .

He said the “final sentence” did not address the issues of the seizure of Sabah territory or state sovereignty by the alleged heirs to the Sultanate of Sulu.

“The government will ensure victory in the interest of the country and the sovereignty of the country remains preserved.

“The government is also confident that all actions and strategies that are and will be implemented to deal with this issue will yield positive results with the support of all parties, especially Malaysians,” Wan Junaidi said in a statement. .

He said the French court previously authorized Malaysia’s request on December 16, 2021 to stay the “exequatur” Stampa arbitration previously obtained by the Sulu claimants from the High Court in Paris, France in May 2020.

The special task force was set up on July 14 to study, monitor and formulate an appropriate plan of action based on the provision of the law to address the issue of a Sulu group’s claims on Sabah.

The decades-long controversy gained momentum this year when a European arbitration tribunal awarded Sulu’s alleged heirs US$14.9 billion (RM66 billion) for the alleged breach of the 1878 lease.

The problem dates back to January 1878, when the ruler of Sulu, Sultan Jamalul Alam, signed an agreement with representatives of a British company to receive 5,000 local dollars (before the existence of Ringgit Malaysia) in exchange for the rights to Sabah, or North Borneo. it was known then.

The payment then increased to L$5,300 in April 1903 when the ruler of Sulu, Sultan Jamalul Kiram II, signed an agreement with the British government of North Borneo to “hand over” a list of islands near Sabah in under the 1878 agreement.

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