Recently, a French arbitration court ordered Malaysia to pay US$14.92bil (RM62.6bil) to the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu over an alleged breach in a 1878 Agreement.
Now, the Malaysian government has responded.
In a joint statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Attorney General’s Chambers, they shared that Malaysia does not recognise the claim and did not participate in the arbitration proceedings as we have upheld and never waived our sovereign immunity as a sovereign State.
“In addition, the subject matter of the Claim is not commercial in nature and thus cannot be subject to arbitration and the 1878 Agreement contains no arbitration agreement,”
“We further stress that the Claimants’ identities are doubtful and have yet to be verified,” they wrote.
They went on to share that on 14 January, 2020, the Sabah High Court in Kota Kinabalu had rendered judgement against the Claimants and declared that the Sabah High Court is the natural and proper forum to determine any claim in connection with the 1878 Agreement.
“The Government of Malaysia has also filed for the recognition and enforcement of the Sabah High Court’s decision in the Spanish High Court of Justice of Madrid but the application has yet to be heard,” they shared.
On 29 June, 2021, the Spanish High Court of Justice of Madrid also decided that the service of notice of the proceedings was not properly served to Malaysia in what is called a ‘Nullification Decision’.
“As a consequence of the Nullification Decision, Dr. Stampa (the Spanish arbitrator) is not an arbitrator in the purported arbitration proceedings and, therefore, all his decisions, including the Final Award, are null and void,”
“The Government of Malaysia completely reject the purported Final Award dated 28 February 2022, which was rendered by Dr. Stampa.”
The Spanish arbitrator has also allegedly attempted to obtain an ex parte order from the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris, France, without the Malaysian government’s knowledge, to recognise the Partial Award on jurisdiction rendered by Dr. Stampa.
The Government of Malaysia has since filed an appeal against the order by the Courts in Paris.
“Therefore, it follows that the Final Award rendered by Dr. Stampa on 28 February, 2022, not only violates Malaysia’s sovereign immunity but was also rendered in disregard of the Madrid and Paris court decisions,”
“The Government of Malaysia strongly apposes the Final Award and upholds its position and stance to not recognise all the actions taken by Dr. Stampa in the purported arbitration proceedings as well as all his illegal decisions and awards,” they added.
They ended their statement by emphasizing that they will continue to take all the necessary actions to put an end to the Claim and to ensure that Malaysia’s interests, sovereign immunity and sovereignty are protected and preserved.
Stay tuned for more updates!
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