KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia shouldn`t pay US$14.92bil (about RM62.59bil) in compensation to Sulu sultan and it must find a way to put an end to the Philippines’ claim on Sabah, United Sabah National Organisation (Usno) president Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia said.
He said Malaysia should solve this issue before it becomes a huge disaster (if it is not addressed).
“The RM62.59bil should be used for the development of Sabah instead,” he said, adding that Putrajaya should not entertain the Philippines’ demands.
It was reported that the Malaysian government has been instructed to pay at least RM62.6 billion to the Sulu sultan over an alleged signed treaty which Malaysia allegedly violated
The treaty was signed in 1878 between the then Sultan of Sulu, Sultan Jamal Al Alam, and Baron Overbeck and Alfred Dent of the British North Borneo Company.
Under the agreement, Overbeck and Dent were to pay an annual amount of RM5,300 in cession payments to the Sulu Sultanate over a large part of eastern Sabah, according to local media.
After Sabah’s independence and the formation of the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, the government continued the payments. However, when Sulu terrorists invaded Lahad Datu in 2013, Malaysia stopped paying the annual compensation.
On 28 February, the Court of Arbitration in Paris ruled that Malaysia must pay RM62.6 billion to the heirs of the Sulu Sultan for breaching of the 1878 agreement.
News portal La Información reported that Spanish arbitrator Gonzalo Stampa said Malaysia breached the agreement by not handing over the annual payment since 2013, and issued the award amount for Malaysia to pay.
The case was initially filed in Spain, where the treaty was signed, before it was moved to Paris after Malaysia was not informed of the lawsuit and was declared “defenceless”.