PUTRAJAYA, April 11 — A purported Sulu claimaint — Muhammad Fuad Abdullah Kiram — who is part of a group of heirs seeking to enforce a US$14.9 billion (RM65 billion) arbitration award against Malaysia, has now been classified as a terrorist entity by the Malaysian government.
Prime Minister Department’s Legal Affairs Division (BHEUU) director-general Datuk Seri Khairul Dzaimee Daud said Muhammad Fuad, who is also known as Fuad A. Kiram, had been part of the Royal Sulu Force (RSF), which the government currently considers a terrorist group.
The RSF had been part of the incursion group into Lahad Datu more than a decade ago in 2013.
“The honourable home minister has declared Fuad A. Kiram as a terrorist entity under Section 66B of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 effective April 6,” he told a media briefing on the government’s ongoing Sulu claimant matter.
According to a Federal Gazette dated April 6, Fuad A Kiram is listed as a 69-year-old Filipino who had previously participated in and facilitated the commission of a terrorist act.
The order was made by Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.
When asked why the government was only declaring the classification now, Khairul Dzaimee said there were legal procedures that needed to be adhered to prior to execution.
In their bid to enforce the US$14.9 billion arbitration award, the purported Sulu heirs had attempted to seize Malaysia’s oil firm Petronas’s assets in Luxembourg, assets in the Netherlands, and have reportedly also eyed the Malaysian embassy’s buildings in Paris, France.
In February, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Legal and Institutional Reform), Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the government spent about RM31 million on the handling of court cases, in four countries, in relation to the legal dispute filed by the Sulu group against Malaysia, from November 20, 2019 to January 20, this year.
The Sulu group was reported to have taken legal action in the Spanish court to seek compensation for land in Sabah that was allegedly leased by their ancestors to a British trading company in 1878.
On February 28, 2022, purported arbitrator, Gonzalo Stampa, was reported to have obtained a purported final award amounting to US$14.92 billion for the claimants (Sulu group) from a Paris Arbitration Court.
However, the French court granted Malaysia a stay order on the award issued by Stampa, pending the judicial decision of Malaysia’s action to set it aside on the basis that its enforcement may threaten Malaysia’s sovereignty over the Sabah region.