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International Court Ruled That Malaysia Must Pay RM62 Billion To Sulu Sultan’s Descendents

International Court Ruled That Malaysia Must Pay RM62 Billion To Sulu Sultan’s Descendents

The government was ruled to violate the treaty after deciding to stop the Sulu sultan heirs’ annual RM5,300 cession money payment in 2013 following the Lahad Datu incursion.

Ikhwan Zulkaflee

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An international court ruled that Malaysia had violated a treaty signed in 1878 and now will have to pay at least US$14.92 billion (RM62.59 billion) to the descendants of the Sulu sultan, almost 20 years after making the last payment to its heirs.

The government was ruled to violate the treaty after deciding to stop the Sulu sultan heirs’ annual RM5,300 cession money payment in 2013 following the Lahad Datu incursion.

In a report by Malaysiakini, the award was issued in an arbitration court in Paris, France by Spanish arbitrator Gonzalo Stampa.

Stampa ruled that the agreement, which was signed on Spanish soil, constituted a commercial “international private lease agreement”.

The treaty was signed on 22 January 1878 by Sultan Jamal Al Alam of Sulu with Baron de Overbeck and Alfred Dent of the British North Borneo Company that stipulates North Borneo (Sabah) was either ceded or leased (depending on the translation used) to the company in return for a yearly payment of 5,000 Malayan Dollar.

Read More: Malaysia Has Been Paying Sulu Sultanate Every Year Over Sabah, But Not Anymore

The Sulu sultan’s descendants were represented by a Spanish law firm, the B Cremades & Asociados together with London based Paul Cohen and Elisabeth Mason.

They initially wanted to claim US$32.2 billion (RM135.08 billion) from Malaysia to recover the unpaid cession money and with how much they believed they should have been paid for the oil and gas found in the region.

The report also said that Malaysia has three months to pay RM62.59 billion to the Sulu sultan’s descendants or being risk incurring extra interest unless the award is cancelled.

The Madrid High Court had previously annulled Stampa’s appointment on grounds that Malaysia was not properly informed about the case and was thus “defenceless” when the case was first heard before it was moved to Paris.

Malaysia was not represented in the Paris arbitration hearing however it was reported that Malaysia is challenging Stampa’s validity to hear the case in criminal court.

Read More: Who Were The Sulu Who Invaded Lahad Datu 7 Years Ago?


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