Wan Junaidi: Govt positive on strategies implemented for Sulu issue

by S BIRRUNTHA / Pic by TMR

THE government is confident that all the actions and strategies that are being and will be taken in regard to the Sulu group’s claims will yield positive results.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar highlighted that this includes the establishment of a special team to ensure that the best strategy is implemented to deal with the issue.

“In general, the government will ensure victory in the interest of the country and continue to preserve the sovereignty of the country,” he said in a statement today.

Wan Junaidi said the special team to address the Sulu Sultanate’s heirs’ claims against the Malaysian government held its first meeting on Aug 3.

The meeting was chaired by himself and attended by all members of the special team who had been agreed by the Cabinet last July 22, 2022.

Wan Junaidi said among the matters discussed during the meeting included the legal actions that the Malaysian government had taken in Spain and France to deal with the claim.

The minister added that the issue of handing over money amounting to US$5,300 per year was also discussed.

Additionally, he said the Final Award that was issued on Feb 28 did not touch on the issue of taking the territory of the state of Sabah or the sovereignty of the state by the party claiming to be the heir to the Sultanate of Sulu.

“The special team is also aware that the appointment of Dr Gonzalo Stampa as an arbitrator and also all procedural actions made by him are cancelled based on the decision of the High Court of Madrid dated June 29, 2021.

“Based on the same decision, the High Court of Madrid issued a decision that the ‘Partial Award on Jurisdiction’ issued on May 25, 2020, by Stampa is invalid and void,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Wan Junaidi also said the government had submitted an application to cancel the Exequatur Order and then an application to suspend its enforcement.

“The government’s application to suspend the enforcement of the Exequatur Order was granted by the French Court on Dec 16, 2021.

“Next, the government made an application to cancel the Final Award issued by Stampa on Feb 28 and also an application to suspend the enforcement of the Final Award in the French Court.

“The court has allowed the application to suspend the enforcement of the Final Award on July 12, 2022,” he said.

Last month, the Sulu group attempted to seize the assets of two Petronas subsidiaries in Azerbaijan. The former demanded US$14.92 billion (RM62.59 billion) from Malaysia.

The move is part of a legal action filed in 2017 by the parties involved to seek compensation for land in Sabah that their ancestors allegedly leased to a British trading company in 1878.

The Malaysian government said it had never recognised the Sulu group’s claims and had never waived its sovereign immunity as a sovereign state.