Azalina launches ‘Sulu Fraud vs Malaysia’s Truth’ e-book

TheEdge Tue, Feb 13, 2024 01:24am - 2 weeks View Original


KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 12): Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said launched the “Sulu Fraud vs Malaysia's Truth” e-book on Sunday (Feb 11) to mark the progress that the Malaysian government has accomplished so far in combating the fraudulent “Sulu Claims”.

She said the book is meant to give a glimpse of the abuses and injustices to the detriment of all Malaysians, the historical backgrounds of the case, the involvement of (litigation funder) Therium and the landmark victories achieved by Malaysia in the European courts.

Azalina, who recently undertook a working visit to Brussels, Belgium, said the timeline of the case is also included in the book to chronologically map out the events and legal proceedings from the historic 1878 (lease signing by British explorers), leading up to the present time.

“As the e-book details, the Sulu fraud has raised several alarming concerns, among others the importance of upholding ethical conduct, integrity, professionalism and good practices among the pool of international arbitrators, being the cornerstone of a legitimate arbitration.

“We are launching this e-book here today, with Brussels being the headquarters of the European Union (EU), and (it) will be disseminated to all the ambassadors in Malaysia and Malaysian ambassadors across the globe,” she said in her speech.

She called on all Malaysians to stand together in fighting the “Sulu Claims” and to build a basic understanding of this legal battle, either through the Malaysia-Sulu case website, or the e-book.

Meanwhile, she said the criminal conviction of Spanish arbitrator Dr Gonzalo Stampa, despite being subject to appeal, is unprecedented and a positive development.

She said Malaysia acknowledged the importance of the Spanish court’s decision and was confident that it would serve as an effective deterrent to the scurrilous actions of the perpetrators behind the Sulu fraud.

Azalina said this landmark decision also indicated the international legal community’s commitment to uphold the rule of law.

She added that while the decision was a timely call-out to the global arbitration fraternity, it also revealed uncharted waters, in particular the regulation of the professional ethics of the arbitrators. 

She said the Malaysian government is also calling for an urgent review and global reform for the enhancement of the third-party litigation industry, following its experience in the high-profile “Sulu Claims”.

Meanwhile, a separate statement from the legal affairs division of the Prime Minister’s Department said that Azalina, during the working visit to Brussels, also met with delegates from across the EU who are responsible for legal affairs, with the aim of knowledge-sharing and enhancing mutual understanding of the respective legal systems.

The statement said that these engagements discussed matters relating to the EU’s legal affairs and were aimed at cultivating awareness on Malaysia’s ongoing US$14.92 billion legal dispute with the so-called heirs and successors-in-interest of the then Sultan of Sulu (“the Sulu Claims”) in four EU member states, including the recent conviction of Stampa in Spain.

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