Yong challenges Warisan leaders over silence on the Kiram claim for Sabah at Madrid court

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Datuk Yong Teck Lee

I once again challenge senior leaders of Parti Warisan to answer why they are keeping a strange silence on the news reports of the legal action being taken by the Kiram family at a Madrid court in Spain, which was the colonial master of Philippines.

Local newspaper Daily Express had reported, on 2 June, that “the purported heirs to the Sulu Sultan had on July 30, 2019 commenced ad hoc arbitration proceedings in Spain against the Government of Malaysia and obtained an order from the Superior Court of Justice in Madrid to appoint a sole arbitrator to decide the dispute (the Spanish Arbitration)” over the Sulu claim to Sabah. The Daily Express also reported that the High Court in Kota Kinabalu had decided in favour of Malaysia in that the proper court to decide on the dispute is in Malaysian courts as the Spanish courts do not have jurisdiction over Malaysia.

On June 5, I asked why Warisan leaders have been silent on this troubling issue of the Kiram claim to Sabah at Spain. Did they know about the Kiram case at Spain? That is a simple question deserving of a simple answer. But both Datuk V. K. Liew and Datuk Shafie Aqdal have chosen to remain silent.

Datuk V.K. Liew, the Permanent Speaker of Party Warisan, was the Federal Minister of Law responsible for the Federal Attorney General Chambers, when the Sabah claim arbitration case was started and heard in Spain in 2019. Later, that Spanish court granted an order to appoint a sole arbitrator.

Datuk Shafie Apdal, the leader of Parti Warisan, holds the post of Chief Minister of Sabah during the entire period. He was reported as speaking in Parliament in April 2016 to allow the Philippines/Sulu claim to Sabah to be brought to the international arena.

According to video still available in youtube, he was recorded to have said “why not once and for all, bring to the United Nations or International Court, to erase, so that the future generations will not face problems”.

Did that speech of the Semporna MP in 2016 encourage the Kiram family to take up the case at an international platform?

Other Warisan leaders such as Deputy President, Datuk Darell Leiking, and Secretary General YB Loretto Padua, who are both senior lawyers with access to the top echelons of government, should not remain silent. Malaysians are waiting for the Warisan leaders to clear the air on this sovereignty issue.

Datuk Yong Teck Lee
SAPP President, Ex-Chief Minister

Author: Johnny Chin