KOTA KINABALU, March 4  — The Sabah government will never recognise the so-called ‘Sulu Sultanate’ heirs’ claim over the state, said Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor.

Hajiji said Sabah had never recognised this claim as Sabah is a sovereign state within the Federation of Malaysia.

Thus, the chief minister urged the people to remain calm over the issue, and let the state and federal governments’ legal team handle the matter.

“It is an absurd claim. Sabah’s sovereignty in the Malaysia Federation should never be questioned,” he said in a statement here tonight.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry and the Attorney General’s Chambers said the Malaysian government completely rejects the purported final award of US$14.92 billion (RM62.6 billion) given to the so-called descendants of the last Sultan of Sulu, Sultan Jamalul Kiram II.

The joint statement also stated that the Malaysian government did not participate in the purported arbitration proceedings that led to the award.      

Moreover, the subject matter of the claim was not commercial in nature, thus cannot be subjected to arbitration.

According to media reports, a French arbitration court on Monday ruled that Malaysia had violated a treaty signed in 1878 and ordered it to pay at least US$14.92 billion to the descendants of the last Sulu Sultan. 

The award was issued by Spanish arbitrator Gonzalo Stampa on Feb 28, 2022. The arbitration process originated in Spain, then moved to Paris where the final award was made.


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