Malaysia stressed that the claimants’ identities are doubtful and have yet to be verified.
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Malaysia refused to acknowledge the compensation awarded to Sulu sultan heirs as it violates the country’s sovereign immunity while also raising questions regarding the claimants’ identities.
In a joint statement today, the Foreign Ministry and the Attorney General Chambers said that the Malaysian government had not taken part in the purported arbitration in Paris, France where Spanish arbitrator Gonzalo Stampa ruled that Malaysian government must pay the descendants of Sulu sultan RM62.59 billion.
“Malaysia has always upheld and has never waived its sovereign immunity as a sovereign state,” the statement reads.
“In addition, the subject matter of the claim is not commercial in nature and thus cannot be subject to arbitration and the 1878 agreement contains no arbitration agreement.
“We further stress that the claimants’ identities are doubtful and have yet to be verified,” it added.
The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, in respond to question from the media yesterday said that a statement will be issued by The Foreign Affairs Ministry and The Attorney General Office regarding the RM62 billion compensation payment towards the Sulu sultan’s heirs.
“The Foreign Ministry and the Attorney-General Chambers will be making a statement soon,” said Ismail Sabri.
It was previously reported that Spanish arbitrator Gonzalo Stampa had ruled in an arbitration court in Paris that the Malaysian government must pay the descendants of Sulu sultan RM62.59 billion for violating a treaty signed in 1878.
The 1878 treaty, signed on Spanish soil by by Sultan Jamal Al Alam of Sulu with Baron de Overbeck and Alfred Dent of the British North Borneo Company stipulates that 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.
Malaysia had been paying the Sulu Sultanate’s heirs RM5,300 annually since Sabah joined the Federation in 1963 but has stopped the practice in 2013, following the armed incursion in Lahad Datu.
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.
Unless it was cancelled, Malaysia has three months to pay RM62.59 billion to the Sulu sultan’s descendants or being risk incurring extra interest on the payment.