Malaysia gets tough in Sulu issue

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will continue to take all active measures to further strengthen its sovereign immunity and engage all stakeholders in its pursuit of upholding the sanctity of arbitration internationally over the claims by the so-called heirs to the deceased Sultan of Sulu.

In a statement yesterday, the Special Secretariat on Sulu Claims said this included pursuing action against any Malaysian found to have provided material support, directly or indirectly, to the claimants or to any associated parties in the purported arbitration against Malaysia.

“The Malaysian government will not hesitate to defend any Malaysian public official who performed their duties rightfully, including the Attorney General, in this matter,” it said.

According to the secretariat, the French court will decide today whether the purported Partial Award demanded by claimants against Malaysia would be enforced.

On Saturday, the Malaysian government denied in full and without limitation the allegations and insinuations in a letter sent by Paul H. Cohen, the lawyer to the party claiming to be the heir of Sultan Jamalul Kiram II (the claimant of the Sulu Group), to the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC).

The letter, dated May 28, was received by the AGC the following day.

According to the AGC, the letter demanded that the government make immediate payment, before June 2, 2023, of the purported Final Award which amounts to US$16.412bil (RM75bil) (including 10% interest) together with US$3,502,394.24 in counsel and expert fees, and US$4,026,592.64 in arbitration costs.

Considering that legal proceedings are still ongoing, the AGC said it was totally outrageous for the claimants to demand the payment of the purported Final Award, adding that the allegations by Cohen were obviously false and a clear blatant disregard for the inescapable true facts of the claims, which will create a false written record to be eventually used against Malaysia. — Bernama

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