KOTA KINABALU, Feb 5 — An individual claiming to be the heir of the Sulu sultanate disagrees with the actions of a group of individuals in taking the Sulu dispute to the Spanish Constitutional Court because they are not the legal heirs.

Datu Omar Ali Datu Bachtiyal opined that the action of the group of individuals in bringing the dispute and arbitration process to the Spanish Constitutional Court was incorrect and illegal.

“In my opinion, it is not valid because we know that (the facts about the heirs) are mixed up, and if we really study (their status) is doubtful so this (status) is not true for me,” he told Bernama recently.

He said the Sulu dispute could be properly negotiated with all parties and the arbitration process carried out through peaceful discussions without any contention.

“We can negotiate... we just want what is best for both parties, we also want to help develop Sabah. It’s better that we discuss it with the Malaysian government,” he said.

Datu Omar Ali, 64, said he was never consulted by the group of individuals involved before they took the arbitration process to the Spanish Constitutional Court.

“No communications, we were left in the dark, we did not know anything,” he said while claiming to know some of the individuals involved and having met them previously.

Explaining the claim by one of the claimants in the Sulu dispute (at the Spanish Constitutional Court) namely Taj Mahal Kiram-Tarsum Nuqui that he is the heir of Dayang Dayang Piandao, a princess and one of the administrators of the Sulu sultanate in 1936, Datu Omar Ali said this was not true as she did not have any children.

“Taj Mahal is the grandson of Tarahata and not of Dayang Dayang Piandao. When he says he is the grandson of Dayang Dayang Piandao, it is a lie. Dayang Dayang Piandao never had a child, so how can she have a grandchild?” he said.

Datu Omar Ali claims that he is the heir from the lineage of Dayang Dayang Piandao. Dayang Dayang Piandao, who married Datu Ombra Amilbangsa, ascended the throne to become Sultanah in 1937 until her death in 1945.

Datu Omar Ali claims that his father and Datu Ombra Amilbangsa, who later became the Sulu Sultan in 1937, were first cousins.

The Sulu group was previously reported to have brought legal action to the Spanish Constitutional Court to receive compensation over land in Sabah which their ancestor had allegedly leased to a British trading company in 1878.

They then took the matter to the Spanish arbitrator in 2019 and the purported arbitrator, Dr Gonzalo Stampa, who was appointed by the group of individuals, made a decision in their (the claimants') favour.

The ruling was used to seize Petronas’ assets in Luxembourg.

Malaysia subsequently availed itself to all available legal remedies to invalidate Stampa’s two purported awards.

On Jan 24, the District Court of Luxembourg issued the decision to lift the attachment requested by the group of individuals.

The attachment order on July 11, 2022 that was set aside was requested based on two purported arbitral awards issued by an illegally appointed arbitrator, Stampa, who is said to have awarded the claimant an amount of US$14.92 billion (RM63.34 billion).

Malaysia had consistently objected to the alleged arbitration proceedings planned by the claimant and taken all available legal actions to revoke the appointment of Stampa and the said award.

The Spanish Constitutional Court also upheld the annulment of Stampa’s appointment as arbitrator in the so-called Sulu dispute after rejecting the extraordinary constitutional appeal filed by a group of individuals (claimants) against the annulment of Stampa’s appointment as arbitrator in the case

The French Court has also suspended the enforcement of the ‘final award’ said to have been issued by Stampa, pending the court’s judicial outcome of all legal actions taken by the Malaysian government. — Bernama