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  • Writer's pictureSusie Hutchison

Malaysia obliged to pay Sultan Sulu heirs US$14.9b over 1878 land lease deal

It is an unlikely setting for a legal fight over a British colonial holdover. But at lunchtime last Monday, a bailiff walked into a serviced office building in the Avenue John F. Kennedy in central Luxembourg to serve an asset seizure notice on two subsidiaries of one of the biggest energy companies in the world, Petronas.

It was a stunning salvo in a $US15 billion ($22 billion) legal battle that centres on a Malaysian state about 11,000 kilometres away, and involves descendants of a former sultan, a land deal with British colonialists, a publicity-shy London-based litigation fund and a dispute 144 years in the making.

The legal the Grounds for the Arbitration award is because in 2013 Najib Razak's administration stopped paying the Sulan Sulu's heirs RM5,300 annually.

This gave them grounds to sue the current Malaysian DeJure Government, for compensation based on minerals sold, and this amounts to RM62.59 billion (approx USD 1.4 billion)

There are other assets sequestered in American, European and Asian banks that are being claimed.

The heirs/ claimants have engaged our legal services team headed by Judge (Dr.) Navin C Naidu to pursue their legitimate claims, closely following to his appointment to the Swiss based RCST and quickly becoming the champion behind the RCST Law Degree Program.

The Malaymail also posted a good article Luxembourg seizes US$2b Petronas assets for Sulu sultan’s heirs , along with the Financial Review, Rappler, Yahoo and Reuters all covered the story.

And finally here is a link to the Heirs to the Sultanate of Sulu v. Malaysia Court Judgements, including the Final Award in Feb 22 and the Paris Appeal this week.

We look forward to further sharing from Judge Naidu, and watch with interest as this unfolds.



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1 Comment

John D
Aug 04, 2022

Thank you for letting us know.

It was disheartening to see these journalists give their legal opinion on this matter and even side with the Malaysian government. Perhaps they were told to downplay the situation or deter other sultan heirs from going down the same path.

I know I would rather take law classes from the judge than from a journalist... 😅

I am not in a hurry to hear from the judge. He may contact us when he has rested and when it is safe to do so.

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