We will continue to defend our assets abroad, no compromises

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will not compromise on its rights and sovereignty and continue to defend its assets abroad through legal means, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.

Ismail Sabri said the case involving the purported claims by Sulu Sultanate heirs could be brought to court and assured that the government would not compromise on the country’s rights and sovereignty.

“There is no need (to mobilise security assets). It is not easy to deploy security assets into other countries unless we are the United Nations.

“But we will continue to protect (the assets) through legal means.

“What happened can be brought to court, and I guarantee that we will not compromise (on the matter) and budge even an inch when it comes to defending the country’s sovereignty and rights,” he said.

Ismail Sabri said this when met with reporters after launching the National Security Conference: National Security a Shared Responsibility at Marriott Hotel, here today.

He said the special task force formed on July 15 to oversee and formulate appropriate legal action to address the claims by the purported heirs of the Sultan of Sulu against the Malaysian government, would also look into the country’s other assets abroad.

“Measures are currently being taken. As announced by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (parliament and law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, we will look into the matter comprehensively and not just Petronas but also other government’s assets abroad,” he said.

It was reported last week that Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s Luxembourg-registered subsidiaries were seized by descendants of the Sulu Sultanate.

Foreign news reported that Petronas Azerbaijan (Shah Deniz) and Petronas South Caucasus were seized by bailiffs after a French arbitration court ruled in March that Malaysia had to pay the descendants of the sultanate.

The seizure was part of legal efforts launched in 2017 by the heirs to receive compensation for land in Sabah they said their ancestor leased to a British trading company in 1878.

Malaysia stopped paying the Sulu sultanate heirs their RM5,300 cession money in 2013, following the attack by a force sent by self-described ruler Jamalul Kiram III on Lahad Datu the same year.

Malaysia has since obtained a stay order from French courts due to questions of sovereignty.


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