07/06/2023 02:04 PM

KOTA KINABALU, June 7 (Bernama) -- The decision of the Paris Court of Appeal to uphold Malaysia's challenge on the Sulu heirs' arbitration judgment vindicated the Sabah government's stand that the so-called ‘Sabah claim’ has no merit whatsoever.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor in welcoming the landmark court victory, said it also further reinforced Sabah’s position in the Federation of Malaysia.

He said Sabahans themself have chosen to jointly form the Federation of Malaysia through the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63), therefore any external claims against Sabah will not be recognised at all by the people.

“The Sabah government welcomes the decision and hopes that the Malaysian government will take all appropriate actions to put an end to the claim once and for all.

“Sabah, through its Attorney-General Chambers, will continue to play its role with the Federal Attorney-General in dealing with the case,” he said in a statement here today.

Yesterday,  the Paris Court of Appeal upheld Malaysia’s challenge against the partial award rendered on May 25, 2020, by Dr Gonzalo Stampa in the case filed by eight citizens of the Philippines, who are purported heirs of the long-defunct Sultan of Sulu (claimants).

The group claiming to be heirs of the Sulu Sultanate was reported to have taken legal action in the Spanish Court to seek compensation for land in Sabah, which was allegedly leased by their ancestors to a British trading company in 1878.

They then took the matter to the Spanish arbitrator in 2019 and the purported arbitrator, Stampa, who was appointed by the group of individuals, decided in the claimants' favour.

Stampa had issued a final award of US$14.9 billion (RM62.59 billion) against Malaysia and Malaysia had used all legal remedies to annul the award given by Stampa to the claimants in courts in Spain, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

On March 14 this year, the Paris Court of Appeal upheld the stay order obtained by the Malaysian Government in France on July 12, 2022, against the enforcement of the award.

Therefore, the suspension order obtained by Malaysia regarding the enforcement of the award is maintained.


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