Petronas Azerbaijan Sàrl and Petronas South Caucasus Sàrl, the two Petronas owned companies, were seized in Luxembourg in July. This came after a claim was filed by bailiffs acting on behalf of representatives of the heirs of the last Muslim sultan of Sulu. The move follows a ruling from an arbitrator in France in March that the Malaysia state should pay the sultan’s descendants $14.9bn. They base their claim on an agreement made by their ancestors in 1878 to lease land to a British trading company. Later, vast natural resources were discovered on the land. The Malaysia state took over the lease agreement upon securing independence from Britain in August 1957.
Malaysia has now officially contested the Luxembourg court’s decision. This comes after the Sultan’s heirs initiated legal proceedings to seize a Pertronas subisidiary in the Netherlands--company Petroliam Nasional Bhd.
“Malaysia has instituted legal proceedings in Luxembourg and will take similar steps in the Netherlands to resist and set aside any attempt by the purported Sulu heirs to enforce or obtain a benefit from the impugned award,” lawyer Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said in an official statement.