Explain Claim By Sulu Sultan S Heirs In Detail Govt Told
Two Petronas subsidiaries in Azerbaijan were reportedly seized this week after a French arbitration court ruled in March that Malaysia had to pay the descendants of the sultan of Sulu at least RM62.59 billion.PETALING JAYA: An Umno leader has urged the government, in particular the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), to provide a complete and transparent explanation over compensation demands by heirs of the Sulu sultan in connection with their Sabah claim.
Umno vice-president Khaled Nordin also suggested that a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) be set up on the issue.
“The RCI is the most neutral and open forum in researching and finding the truth on issues of national interest,” he said in a statement.
He said, however, that whatever approach taken by the government, the main goal and focus should be transparent and provide a proper explanation to the people as they had a right to know the truth.
“Failure to do so will inevitably provoke controversy among many parties, especially those who will not stop issuing their versions and allegations on the matter.
“More importantly, the issue has the potential to be a serious security threat.”
Khaled said it was critical for the government to view the matter in a bigger context and speak up on it without any delay.
On Tuesday, it was reported that two Petronas subsidiaries in Azerbaijan had been seized by bailiffs after a French arbitration court ruled in March that Malaysia had to pay the descendants of the sultan of Sulu at least RM62.59 billion.
The Financial Times reported that the move to seize the petroleum company’s Luxembourg-registered subsidiaries, Petronas Azerbaijan (Shah Deniz) and Petronas South Caucasus, was part of legal efforts launched in 2017 by the heirs to receive compensation for land in Sabah they said their ancestor leased to a British trading company in 1878.
The claim was made during the proceedings at the Paris Arbitration Court in France.
The dispute has its origin in the 1878 Deed of Cession between the then sultan of Sulu, Sultan Jamal Al Alam, and Baron de Overbeck, the then maharaja of Sabah, and British North Borneo Company’s Alfred Dent.
Under the agreement, Jamal ceded sovereignty over large parts of Sabah to Dent and Overbeck, who agreed that they and their future heirs were to pay the heirs of the sultan 5,000 Mexican dollars annually.
In 1936, the last formally recognised sultan of Sulu, Jamalul Kiram II, died without heirs, and payments temporarily ceased until North Borneo High Court chief justice Charles F Macaskie named nine court-appointed heirs in 1939.
Although Malaysia took over these payments when it became the successor of the agreement following Sabah’s independence and the formation of Malaysia in 1963, these payments – equivalent to RM5,300 a year – ceased in 2013 after an incursion by armed men into Lahad Datu, along the eastern coast of Sabah. - FMT
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