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Govt files bid to annul final award on claims by Sulu sultan’s heirs

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob says the government will not budge in defending the country's sovereignty and Sabah's position in Malaysia.

2 minute read
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Photo: Bernama
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Photo: Bernama

The government has filed an application at the Court of Arbitration in Paris to cancel the final award in relation to claims by the purported descendants of the Sulu sultan, to protect the sovereignty and interests of Malaysia, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.

He said the application in the French court was filed on March 3 to ensure that the award could not be enforced and that Malaysia need not pay the sum of US$14.9 billion (RM62.59 billion) being claimed.

He added that the claims made by the so-called heirs of the Sulu sultan against the government of Malaysia in the international arbitration proceedings were invalid and against the law.

“This is because the appointment of arbitrator Gonzalo Stampa was annulled by the Madrid High Court on June 29, 2021, rendering invalid all decisions made by him, including the final award issued on Feb 28, 2022,” he said in a statement today.

He said Stampa however ignored the Madrid High Court decision by moving the venue for arbitration to Paris and continuing with the arbitration proceedings until he issued the final award.

Ismail said the government remained firm in its stand that Sabah has been recognised by the United Nations and the international community as part of the Federation of Malaysia since Sept 16, 1963, and would not entertain any claims over Sabah from any quarters.

“In this regard, the government of Malaysia remains committed to resolving this issue in a comprehensive and conclusive manner.

“It should be stressed that the government of Malaysia will not budge even an inch in upholding and defending the country’s sovereignty and that Sabah’s position in Malaysia will be protected forever,” he said.