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Govt lodges police report against Sulu claimants
Published on: Friday, May 26, 2023
By: FMT
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Govt lodges police report against Sulu claimants
Malaysia stopped paying the Sultan of Sulu’s heirs their annual compensation after the Lahad Datu incursion in 2013. (File photo: ATM via Reuters)
PETALING JAYA: The Prime Minister’s Department’s legal affairs division has lodged a police report against the self-proclaimed heirs of the late Sultan of Sulu.

The PMD’s special secretariat said the report was in view of their US$32 billion (RM148 billion) claims against Putrajaya through an arbitrator in July 2019, which it said was a threat to national security.

In a statement, it added that the claimants’ “aggressive actions” could sabotage the economy.

“Following the report, it is believed that a criminal investigation will be initiated by the authorities to ensure the country’s peace, security and stability,” it said.

In February 2022, a French arbitration court instructed Putrajaya to pay US$14.92 billion (RM62.59 billion) to the self-proclaimed descendants of the last Sultan of Sulu.

Arbitrator Gonzalo Stampa ruled that Malaysia had violated the 1878 agreements between the old Sulu kingdom in the Philippines and a representative of the British North Borneo Company that used to administer what is now Sabah.

However, Putrajaya maintained that the award by the court had no legal basis.

Malaysia then challenged the arbitration order in France and Spain. A French court granted a stay order on the award, pending a decision on Malaysia’s claim that the order infringed its sovereignty over Sabah.

A Spanish court earlier this year annulled the appointment of the arbitrator who had granted the nearly US$15 billion award.

The dispute is over a deal signed in 1878 between two European colonists and the sultan for the use of his territory in present-day Malaysia – an agreement that independent Malaysia honoured until 2013, paying the monarch’s descendants about US$1,000 a year.

Malaysia stopped paying the annual compensation after the Lahad Datu, Sabah, incursion in 2013.

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