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Malaysia to make Sulu ‘heirs’ pay. Government identifying ‘moles’ helping the claimants: Azalina
Published on: Thursday, June 08, 2023
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Malaysia to make Sulu ‘heirs’ pay. Government identifying ‘moles’ helping the claimants: Azalina
“I am interested in who is going to pay us the €100,000 awarded by the Paris court. I am not sure who is going to pay, whether it is the eight claimants or their funders,” Azalina said.
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia has decided to sue the self-proclaimed heirs of the defunct Sulu Sultanate and their backers for damages.

Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said: “As far as we are concerned, we are going all out to make sure that the truth is told and we will sue them. We will do what needs to be done to claim for all the costs.”

The Minister in charge of Law and Institutional Reforms said among them is the €100,000 (RM492,000) awarded to the government by the French court against the claimants.

On June 6, a Paris Court of Appeal decided in favour of Malaysia and set aside a Paris Arbitration Court’s purported award of US$14.94bil (RM68.8bil) to the self-proclaimed heirs of the defunct Sulu Sultanate.

The court also reversed a decision by the President of the Paris Court of Justice on Sept 29, 2021, granting execution of the arbitral award rendered in Madrid on May 25, 2020, by controversial Spanish Arbitrator Gonzalo Stampa.

“I am interested in who is going to pay us the €100,000 awarded by the Paris court. I am not sure who is going to pay, whether it is the eight claimants or their funders,” Azalina said.

She said the government has incurred expenses to thwart the “Sulu fraud” perpetrated by the claimants.

“There was travelling here and there, the hiring of consultants and outside lawyers. Someone will have to pay our bills. We will do what we need to do but I am not going to tell you what we are going to do, where and how we are going to do it,” she said.

Azalina said that the next case involving the arbitration claims will be heard in Amsterdam on June 27 with another in Luxembourg in September.

She condemned the claimants’ “commercial window shopping” in an attempt to enforce the arbitration claims in other legal jurisdictions although the initial award had since been set aside by the Spanish courts.

Stampa, who ignored a decision by a court in Spain to stop the Sulu arbitration case in Madrid in 2020, had moved his arbitration to Paris where he awarded the US$14.94bil to the Sulu claimants.

Spanish authorities are currently taking criminal action (contempt of court) against Stampa for ignoring the ruling to stop the arbitration case.

Malaysia had obtained a stay order on July 12, 2022, for the enforcement of the purported final award.

Those who have shown their support towards the group claiming to be heirs of the Sulu sultanate failed to respect the country’s sovereignty.

We should never throw our support behind the group (the claimants) in their attempt to enforce the sham arbitration award against us.

“This is because what they (the claimants) are doing (in this case) is detrimental to the country. We should throw our support behind the government and continue to uphold the sovereignty of the country,“ said Azalina.

On whether Putrajaya had identified “moles” who were helping these so-called claimants.

“We are gathering evidence. From what I have learnt, we suspect there are people (Malaysians) who are helping the claimants.

“Once we have sufficient evidence, I will get the director-general of my department to track down these people,“ she added.

Several Sabah politicians in the past were openly seen in the company of the claimants, including in Manila, at the height of the Tanduo invasion by the Royal Sulu army.

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