Sulu Heirs Legal Bids Govt To Send Azalina To Europe
PARLIAMENT | The government has decided to send Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Azalina Othman Said to Europe to lead their representation in Malaysia’s legal battles against the purported heirs of the Sulu sultanate.
This was revealed by Foreign Minister Zambry Abdul Kadir during his winding-up speech on Budget 2023 in Dewan Rakyat today.
“On the government’s side, we have decided to send the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department to Europe to represent us in handling this case, including in France and so on.
“Perhaps, I will go along as well in the near future,” Zambry (above) said.
The self-proclaimed heirs to the Sulu sultanate will file a legal challenge against Malaysia in any country where they feel they can win as if they are “shopping”, he said.
It started in Spain where they lost, before going to France and then Luxembourg, he said.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Azalina Othman SaidZambry then brought up the incident when French bailiffs attempted to enter the Malaysian embassy in Paris to survey the premises at the instruction of the self-proclaimed heirs of the Sulu sultanate.
“This includes the latest case where they got the (French) bailiffs, and imagine, the bailiffs went as far as to check the properties of the Malaysian embassies without checking the validity of the action.
“We have sent a note of protest including to the French embassy here. You cannot do this because all areas of any embassies anywhere are subject to the Vienna Convention.
“So in the end, they acknowledged their mistake and left,” Zambry said.
The purported Filipino heirs of the last Sultan of Sulu won a US$15 billion (RM67 billion) arbitration award on an ex-parte (one-sided) basis in a French court last year.
The legal feud between the heirs and Malaysia is related to a 145-year-old agreement inked by the then-Sulu sultan that granted sovereign rights to parts of Sabah today, in return for an annual token payment of RM5,300.
Malaysia had stopped the payments in 2013 under Najib Abdul Razak’s administration following the armed incursion of Lahad Datu by more than 200 militants - believed to be linked to the Sulu sultanate.
Myanmar is failing Asean?
On a separate issue, Sim Tze Tzin (Pakatan Harapan-Bayan Baru) said the five-point consensus agreed to by the Myanmar junta with the rest of Asean has failed.
“A different outcome is not possible. That is why I think Wisma Putra should take heed of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s idea of carving out Myanmar (from Asean) so that it does not damage Asean’s dignity.
“Asean is a group that has dignity and democracy. We are moving towards becoming a better group but we have one drop of bad milk that is spoiling the whole jar. Carve them out,” he urged.
Zambry said it is true that two years after Asean reached the five-point consensus, the Myanmar junta does not appear to be abiding by that agreement.
As such, he said, in a meeting with other Asean leaders in Jakarta recently, they agreed that they need to take more “inclusive” actions to resolve the issue.
“Asean has to stand firmly together and move towards the same direction. We want to stress that we need to take collaborative action.
“That is why a decision was reached in the latest meeting in Jakarta that we need to take a more inclusive approach and send a special envoy, that is the Indonesian foreign minister, to go to Myanmar to resolve this problem,” Zambry said.
The Myanmar junta executed a coup d’etat in the country and deposed the democratically elected members of the country’s ruling party, the National League for Democracy on Feb 1, 2021.
The regime has since been accused of killing thousands of people, arbitrarily arresting tens of thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands. - Mkini
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