Minister of Justice: creation of a special working group to deal with questions relating to the claims of the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu

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Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law), said the task force, which he chairs, also included Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah, Attorney General Tan Sri Idris Harun and international arbitration experts. ― Photo by Shafwan Zaidon

Friday, July 15, 2022 8:06 PM MYT

PUTRAJAYA, 15th July – The Cabinet in its meeting yesterday agreed to set up a special task force to study, monitor and formulate an appropriate action plan based on the provision of the law to deal with the matter claims of the supposed heirs of the last Sultan of Sulu, Sultan Jamalul Kiram II of Malaysia.

Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law), said the task force, which he chairs, also included Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah, Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun and international arbitration experts.

“The Legal Affairs Division (BHEUU), as well as the Attorney General’s Chambers are in the process of defining the Terms of Reference (TOR). Additional task force members will be appointed as necessary,” he said in a statement today.

The BHEUU and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will provide the secretariat for the working group.

Wan Junaidi said the government seriously considers issues involving the heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu which jeopardize Malaysia’s overseas interests and assets, especially the assets of government-linked companies.

“Therefore, the government will take proactive and aggressive measures to address the issue to protect the country’s assets and sovereignty,” Wan Junaidi said.

It was reported that the assets of two Petronas subsidiaries in Azerbaijan were seized on July 11 by bailiffs for the heirs of the now defunct Sultanate of Sulu, who were claiming $14.92 billion (US$62.59 billion). RM) to Malaysia.

The move is believed to be part of legal efforts launched in 2017 by the heirs to receive compensation over land in Sabah that they claim their ancestor leased from a British trading company in 1878.

In March, a French arbitration tribunal ruled that Malaysia, which inherited the lease bonds after gaining independence from Britain, must pay at least $14.92 billion to the descendants of the last Sultan Sulu.

However, the Malaysian government did not recognize the claims and proceedings of the Paris arbitral tribunal, saying the decision made by the arbitrator, Dr Gonzalo Stampa, was null and void after his appointment was revoked in 2021.

Last Tuesday, the Paris Court of Appeal granted the Malaysian government’s request to stay the execution of the final award rendered by the arbitral tribunal on the grounds that it would infringe Malaysia’s sovereign immunity.

In his statement on Wednesday, Wan Junaidi said that following the stay order issued by the Paris Court of Appeal, the final sentence cannot be enforced in any country until a final decision is made. not rendered by the Paris court regarding the Malaysian government’s request for annulment. of the final price. — Bernama

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