Cops urged to probe Tommy’s letter to lawyers of Sulu heirs

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah MCA has lodged a report against former attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas over a 2019 letter he sent to lawyers representing heirs of the defunct Sulu Sultanate seeking their annual “cession” payments.

After lodging the report with city police on Wednesday (July 20), Sabah MCA said the letter from a Malaysian AG to the Sulu heirs’ lawyers had put Malaysia’s sovereignty at risk and now has triggered the Paris Arbitration Court ruling for Malaysia to pay US$14.92bil (RM66.4bil) to the self-claimed descendants.

They urged police to investigate the letter and take action against him if they find any conduct that was wrongful.

“Thomas as the AG at that time needs to explain to the public the contents of the letter with transparency,” they said in a statement on Thursday (July 21).

Sabah MCA also said that to date, Tommy has yet to make any statement since the French Court of Arbitration’s award in February this year.

Malaysia last week obtained a stay order of the Paris Court arbitration award and is in process of seeking to overturn it.

Sabah MCA also wanted police to investigate if the then Pakatan Harapan Cabinet had discussed the details of the letter with Thomas.

They said that former finance minister Lim Guan Eng and former entrepreneur development and cooperatives minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof, who were part of the government, had denied that there had been any discussion about Tommy’s letter that stated Malaysia was willing to pay the arrears cession payment of RM48,300 to the heirs that was stopped following the Lahad Datu intrusion in 2013.

The letter was used by Sulu heirs to challenge Malaysia’s refusal to recognise them as genuine heirs.

Though Malaysia obtained a stay order on the Paris Arbitration Court award, the Sulu heirs’ London-based lawyers used the ruling under the New York Convention to seize the assets of two Petronas subsidiary companies in Luxembourg last week.

Putrajaya has repeatedly stated that it does not recognise the Paris arbitration award by Spanish arbitrator Dr Gonzalo Stampa, whose decision came amid superior courts in Spain issuing a suspension order on the case.

Stampa, who was stopped by superior courts in Madrid from carrying out hearing for the Sulu heirs, then sat in Paris Arbitration Court to give the award, ruling that the 1878 treaty was a commercial “international private lease agreement”.