Govt launches website to combat Sultan Sulu heir claims


THE government has launched to provide information and combat disinformation related to the ongoing case of the co-called heirs of Sultan Jamalul Kiram II (Sultan of Sulu) against Malaysia.

The website was set up by multiple ministries including the Legal Affairs Division, the Prime Minister’s Department, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Multimedia to provide accurate legal case histories from different jurisdictions. It will be in five languages: English, Bahasa Malaysia, French, Spanish and Tagalog.

According to a joint statement by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, Foreign Affairs Minister Zambry Abdul Kadir and Communications and Multimedia minister Fahmi Fadzil, this is in response to the case by those asserting heirship to the Sultan of Sulu as there is still no evidence to show that they are the heirs.

“The website will be updated in line with the current development of the ongoing case, and can be accessed in five languages namely Malay, English, French, Spanish, and Tagalog.  

“This is to enable various parties and the international media to follow and understand this case through real facts and information presented by the Malaysian government,” said the statement.

The 1963 Cobbold Commission report indicates that Sabah chose to join Malaysia with Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia. 

Meanwhile, Malaysia still faces legal proceedings in various European countries, so ensuring accurate information is shared and false news is avoided is crucial. 

“The government hopes that Malaysians will access and follow this case carefully through the website developed because any decision in favour of the claimant will have a big and serious impact on the sovereignty and security of the country.  

“The Malaysian government will continue to preserve the interests, sovereign immunity and sovereignty of Malaysia at all times and take all necessary actions to stop this claim,” said the statement.

Last year, Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) decided to fight the former Sulu sultanate heirs’ asset claims in the Dutch court as they want to seize the group’s assets in the European country.

The claimants were previously reported to have filed legal action through the Spanish Court to seek compensation for land in Sabah which they claim was leased by their ancestors to a British trading company in 1878.

Malaysia has been paying the lease since taking Sabah in 1963, but stopped payment in 2013 following armed incursion in Lahad Datu Sabah by forces from Jamalul Kiram.

In February, the bailiffs in Luxembourg attempted to seize two units of Petronas (Luxembourg-based Petronas Azerbaijan and Petronas South Caucasus units) but failed as Malaysia filed their own injunction to quash the court order.