Sulu Sultanate to let lawyers work on Petronas seizure

The Sultanate of Sulu on Thursday, 14 July said that they will let their lawyers do their work for the next step regarding the seizure of Petronas assets from the Malaysian government.,Sultanate of Sulu Prime Minister Amroussi Rasul told Daily Tribune said that Sultan Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram, the reigning sultan, will not make any further comments.,“Our Sultan told me yesterday that he will just let their lawyers do their work and that he will decline to make further comments,” he said.,This comes after Malaysia on Wednesday said that it has received a stay of execution against the implementation of a French arbitration court judgment directing the government to pay $14.9 billion to the heirs of a late sultan over a colonial-era property sale.,A request for comment from a British law firm representing the heirs was not immediately returned.,The Paris Court of Appeal granted the Malaysian government’s request for a stay on Tuesday, ruling that implementation of the award might violate the country’s sovereignty, according to Malaysia’s law minister, Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.,Malaysia is also preparing to have the ruling set aside, he said.,The stay order came a day after lawyers for the late Sultan’s heirs tried to seize two Malaysian state oil corporation Petronas assets based in Luxembourg. Petronas has called the seizure “baseless” and has stated that it would firmly defend its legal position.,The heirs claim to be the last Sultan of Sulu, who made a deal with a British trade corporation in 1878 for the use of his realm, which is now known as the Malaysian state of Sabah.,After Malaysia gained independence from Britain, it took over the arrangement, paying an annual token sum to the heirs.,However, the payments were terminated in 2013, with Malaysia claiming that Sabah belonged to its territory and that no one else had any claim to it.,In March, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob vowed to appeal the French court’s decision and said his country would not consider any rival claim to the state.,The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday said the Philippines will not make comment on the issue over the French arbitration court order to Malaysia to pay the heirs of the last sultan of Sulu, amounting to $14.9 billion.,The DFA said that they will not make public comments on the issue as the Philippines was not a party in the litigation.,“As the Philippine government is not a party in this litigation, the DFA will not comment publicly on the issue,” the DFA said.,The Sulu Sultanate said it had merely leased North Borneo in 1878 to the British North Borneo Company for an annual payment of 5,000 Malaysian dollars then, which was increased to 5,300 Malaysian dollars in 1903.,The Sultanate of Sulu is believed to exist as a sovereign nation for at least 442 years. It stretches from a part of the island of Mindanao in the east to Sabah, in the west and south, and to Palawan, in the north.,Malaysia stopped paying the Sultan of Sulu’s heirs in what it considers annual cession money after over 200 armed followers of the Sultan of Sulu Jamalul Kiram III, led by his younger brother Agbimuddin Kiram, landed in Lahad Datu town in Sabah to lay claim on the oil-rich territory.