The government has held a closed-door briefing for all members of parliament at a hotel in the city at 8.30 pm last night (21 July) with regard to the Sulu Sultanate heirs’ claims to Malaysian assets.
According to NST, the minister that has been tasked to brief all MPs with regards to the claim is de-facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah.
This was revealed by Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching, who told a presser at Parliament’s lobby yesterday.
“I believe all MPs from the opposition bloc and the independents have received an invitation letter from the ministers.”
“The three ministers will provide clarification during the briefing. After that, we will have a question-and-answer session. However, this will be a closed-door briefing,” she said.
Teo also said she cannot disclose any further information on the matter as the invitation letters that were sent to the MPs bore the Official Secrets Act stamp.
However, she still questions why the government decides to hold the briefing at a hotel instead of in the Dewan Rakyat itself.
Since Monday (18 July), chaos has erupted in the Dewan Rakyat after Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizah Harun refused to allow the motion to discuss the recent seizure of Petronas assets in Azerbaijan by the alleged heirs of the Sulu Sultan.
Azhar claimed that it would be sub-judice to debate the issue, adding that it would also hamper Malaysia’s plan to resolve the case.
On Tuesday (12 July), Petronas confirmed that 2 of its subsidiaries worth more than US$2 billion (≈RM8.87 billion) were seized by heirs of the last Sulu sultan, who back in 2017 sought compensation for land in Sabah, which they claimed their ancestor had leased to a British trading company in 1878.
This was part of the effort by the group to seek payment from Malaysia after a French arbitration court ruled that Malaysia has to pay the group at least RM62.59 billion.
However, the Paris Court of Appeal on 12 July allowed the Malaysian government’s application to stay the enforcement of the Final Award given to the group.