MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Sulu dispute: Azalina urges MPs to unite against 'white colonials'


Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Azalina Othman Said sought to tap into shared anti-colonial sentiments today to unite the government and opposition in Malaysia’s legal battles against the purported heirs of the Sulu sultanate.

Azalina (above) took aim at western courts where the Sulu faction has initiated attempts to seize Malaysia’s foreign assets.

“As a sovereign country, we must show that we are of one voice from now until June for the French (court decision); show the people outside ‘don’t push us Malaysians around just because we are an Asean country’.

“So what if you are white, you have blue eyes, blonde hair, who are you to colonise us to commercial arbitration? We will fight you,” she said during a press conference at Parliament today.

A group claiming to be the heirs of the Sulu sultanate has been seeking international arbitration to get US$14.92 billion from Putrajaya in response to Malaysia cutting off annual lease payments of RM5,300 for Sabah to the Sulu sultanate in 2013.

A French arbitration court had sided with the Sulus last year, which allowed the group to seize Petronas assets registered in Luxembourg.

Fresh seizure

Malaysia has since obtained a stay on the arbitration order by the Paris Court of Appeal, but the ruling is still enforceable in countries that signed a UN treaty on arbitration.

The seizure in Luxembourg had also been stayed in January, but the courts there issued a fresh seizure order two weeks ago.

Commenting further, Azalina said parliamentarians should raise the issue when debating it in the Dewan Rakyat.

"So, no matter how much you hate the government... we have to unite on this issue when you debate (in the House) and question why it is necessary for foreign jurisdictions to intervene and use international commercial arbitration (forum shopping).

"Who is the financier of this litigation? Who are they? Who are these people made up of and why are they doing this?... because they know they can make money," he said.

No strong legal basis

Azlina also warned that the group claiming to be the heirs to the Sulu sultanate would use various means to claim national assets.

"These people use 'forum shopping' because they think their Malaysian assets can be messed up. I am just giving an example; there are no cases, all kinds of (assets) can be targeted," she said.

However, she stressed that the claims made by the group against Malaysian assets do not have a strong legal basis.

The Pengerang MP said that she will leave for Sabah tomorrow to meet with Chief Minister Hajiji Noor to discuss the matter. - Mkini

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