Malaysia is said to have obtained a stay order on the contentious U$14.92 billion (about RM63 billion) award to the self-proclaimed heirs of the Sulu Sultanate by a Paris Arbitration Court in March.
According to globalarbitrationreview.com, a French Court granted Malaysia a stay order on Tuesday (July 12), finding that its enforcement could infringe on the country's sovereignty.
The French court decision was not immediately available, but it appeared to coincide with a move by lawyers to "seize" two PETRONAS subsidiaries registered in Luxembourg.
On Wednesday, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law), said the Paris Court of Appeal granted Putrajaya's application to suspend the ruling that declared the Malaysian government liable for a billion ringgit settlement sought by heirs of the now-defunct Sulu sultanate.
He said the leave therefore means the previous ruling cannot be enforced in any country until an ultimatum is reached in Paris, after authorities in Luxembourg reportedly seized the assets of two Petronas subsidiaries claimed by the so-called sultanate.
"The Malaysian government stresses that it has never recognised the claim and has never put aside its sovereign immunity," Wan Junaidi said.
Yesterday news reports said that the Sulu heirs had invoked the contentious Paris Arbitration Court decision to award the heirs US$14.92bil to pursue their claims against Malaysia.
The eight Sulu heirs were represented in the Philippines by London-based lawyers led by Elisabeth Mason.