GRS Praises Government’s Claims Handling Strategy

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KOTA KINABALU: The Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) Members of Parliament have commended both the Federal Government and the Sabah State Government for their effective strategies and measures in addressing the issue of claims made by eight individuals from the Philippines, who allege themselves to be the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu, having filed claims in four countries since 2019.

GRS, in a joint statement, expressed its solidarity with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who vowed to take action against any entity or individual, including Malaysians, if they are found to be undermining national interests by either conspiring or siding with the claimants.

“The Prime Minister highlighted in the House of Representatives yesterday that the French Court of Appeal recently decided to annul an Implementation Order issued by the Paris Court on 29th September 2021, which had recognised a Preliminary Award given on 25th May 2020.

“We stand firmly behind the Prime Minister’s resolve that the Government will not hesitate in taking criminal action in accordance with the law against any party, including Malaysian citizens, who undermine national interests and security by providing any form of support or assistance, either directly or indirectly, to those making the claims,” the statement read.

The statement was endorsed by Members of Parliament including Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan (Keningau), Datuk Armizan Mohd. Ali (Papar), Khairul Firdaus Akhbar Khan (Batu Sapi), Datuk Jonathan Yasin (Ranau), Datuk Matbali Musah (Sipitang), and Lo Su Fui (Tawau).

Furthermore, the GRS leaders have urged the government to carry out a thorough investigation into the former Attorney General’s unauthorised correspondence with the claimants on 19th September 2019, which was done without Cabinet approval.

Additionally, they called upon the Federal Government to ensure that no party takes unilateral actions in matters that are sensitive and pertain to national sovereignty, particularly in relation to the state of Sabah.

“In connection with this, we would like to emphasise the need for the Government to conduct additional investigations into any actions that have enabled the claimants to exploit international legal mechanisms or processes through a ‘forum shopping’ approach.

“This includes a detailed investigation into the former Attorney General’s action of sending a letter to the claimants’ legal counsel on 19th September 2019 without Cabinet approval, as disclosed in the government’s response in the House of Representatives on 28th March 2023,” elaborated the statement.

GRS reiterated its stance of disagreement with the former Attorney General and disclosed that a lawsuit was filed against him in the High Court of Kota Kinabalu on 16th August 2022 for his involvement in managing the claims issue.

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