Tommy Thomas’ mother of a fook-up: Malaysia going to suffer RM67 billion loss, bigger than 1MDB
And that is going to be Tommy Thomas’ real legacy: how he ignored a case against Malaysia and caused Malaysia to suffer a loss of RM67 billion all due to his arrogant and pompous attitude.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
The descendants of the late Sultan of Sulu have won a RM67 billion judgement against Malaysia, compounded another 10% interest for every year that Malaysia fails to pay the claim. They have also seized two Luxembourg subsidiaries of Petronas valued at more than RM9 billion (READ THE FULL REPORT BELOW).
This is Tommy Thomas’ mother of a fook-up, and this RM67 billion loss that Malaysia is going to suffer is far bigger than the 1MDB losses.
This case actually came up during Tommy Thomas’ tenure as Attorney-General (AG). However, being the arrogant and pompous person that he is, he ignored it — tak layan. The truth is, he tak layan the suit because he is ignorant of arbitration and criminal laws. And that is precisely the reason why he fooked up the case against Najib Tun Razak as well — and now there is a very strong possibly they are going to lose their case against Najib.
Tommy Tomas should be disbarred and sued for negligence. In any other civilised country, the case against Najib should have been dropped due to Tommy Thomas’ mother of blunders. And added to RM67 billion blunder, it is proven that Tommy Thomas is no better than a village bumpkin.
Tommy Thomas is trying to cover his sorry behind by blaming the fiasco on ‘the incompetence of the Malay AGC officers and on the Malay DPP’. Hence, the problem is, kononnya, because the Malay officers are handling this matter, the whole thing became a mess. In the UK, Tommy Thomas would be arrested for a racist statement.
In his memoirs, Tommy Thomas talks about all the great and marvellous things that happened under his watch. And he is claiming credit for, kononnya, bringing reforms to the AGC. The truth of the matter is, Tommy Thomas should be charged for dereliction of duty.
The arbitration proceedings were launched, plus its award is being enforced, under the New York Convention, to which Malaysia is a party. Tommy Thomas made a grave mistake of not participating in the original arbitration, thereby giving the descendants of the late Sultan of Sulu a ‘walkover’ win.
An arbitration clause is sui generis, meaning it stands on its own. That means one can challenge the validity of the arbitration proceedings started under an arbitration clause without admitting the propriety of the proceedings (unlike in the courts, under private international law).
Tommy Thomas should have appeared in the original proceedings and should have challenged the arbitrator’s power and jurisdiction. However, he did not.
Malaysia could have litigated just this aspect till kingdom come, and no one would have been able to execute it. Tommy Thomas is so incompetent that he did not understand this basic 101 of arbitration law.
The New York Convention is only applicable to commercial agreements. And the RM67 billion claim against Malaysia is not a commercial case but regarding sovereignty and nationhood.
But Malaysia failed to challenge the claim. Tommy Thomas totally ignored it without considering the effects of his omissions. And now Malaysia has been placed on the defensive.
Malaysia now needs to try to set aside the seizure of the Petronas subsidiaries. However, the fact that the descendants of the late Sultan of Sulu have won a RM67 billion judgement against Malaysia, although by default, it is not that cut and dry any more.
And that is going to be Tommy Thomas’ real legacy: how he ignored a case against Malaysia and caused Malaysia to suffer a loss of RM67 billion, all due to his arrogant and pompous attitude.
Petronas subsidiaries seized as attorneys press US$15 billion (RM67 billion) declare on Malaysia
(Business Lend) – Two Luxembourg subsidiaries of Malaysian state oil firm Petronas have been seized by the descendants of a late sultan, attorneys mentioned, in a dramatic escalation of a $15bn authorized dispute linked to an settlement signed 144 years in the past.
Representatives of the heirs of the final Muslim sultan of Sulu, who claimed to carry land in what’s now the oil-rich Malaysian state of Sabah, mentioned bailiffs in Luxembourg seized the holding corporations on behalf of their shoppers on Monday.
The Luxembourg-registered subsidiaries, Petronas Azerbaijan (Shah Deniz) and Petronas South Caucasus, managed the state-owned power firm’s fuel pursuits in Azerbaijan and could possibly be price greater than $2bn.
The transfer, which is being reported for the primary time, is a part of authorized efforts launched in 2017 by the Sulu heirs to win compensation over land in Sabah that they mentioned their ancestor leased to a British buying and selling firm in 1878, earlier than the invention of huge pure assets within the space.
In March, an arbitrator in France dominated that Malaysia, which inherited the obligations of the lease settlement upon securing independence from Britain, should pay the descendants $14.9bn.
The case, which till now has attracted little consideration outdoors Malaysia, has been described by consultants as one of the uncommon arbitration proceedings in historical past. It has ignited anger in Malaysia, which nonetheless refuses to just accept the award, whereas additionally exposing Britain’s messy colonial legacy within the nation.
Now Petronas has been dragged into the dispute simply because it was set to capitalise on excessive oil costs and assist rebuild Malaysia’s financial system after the coronavirus pandemic.
Colin Ong, a distinguished arbitration lawyer not concerned within the case, mentioned it didn’t seem to have any precedent within the historical past of the 1958 New York Convention on worldwide arbitration, to which Malaysia is a contracting state. “It is very unusual . . . [It involves] an agreement predating the formation of a country” Ong mentioned.
“This case is the history of colonialism,” mentioned Elisabeth Mason, lawyer at London-based 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square and lead counsel for the eight claimants, who’re based mostly within the Philippines. “Unlike so many dispossessed, our clients have an ongoing contract since 1878 and, as such, have a path to justice where many others did not.”
The seizures come at a crucial time for Malaysia, which has had 4 prime ministers since 2015, when it was rocked by revelations of big embezzlement from its 1MDB state fund.
Petronas has reportedly been positioned on the centre of presidency efforts to rein in rising debt. After the conflict in Ukraine drove up oil costs, Malaysia’s finance minister informed the Financial Times the increase might assist the nation enhance its steadiness sheet.
But for so long as Kuala Lumpur continues to disregard the ruling, the cash owed to the Sulu heirs is about to extend. The arbitrator in France determined that for yearly it goes unpaid, Malaysia’s excellent legal responsibility to the heirs will rise by 10 per cent.
In February, Petronas’ Luxembourg holding corporations liquidated a 15.5 per cent stake in Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz offshore gasfield, beforehand valued at $2.3bn. It is unclear whether or not this cash is now held by the subsidiaries or by Petronas in Malaysia.
The claimants’ attorneys indicated they might pursue extra state belongings if a decision was not reached.
“International law doesn’t let you pick and choose. Either Malaysia honours its international obligations or it goes ‘full Russia’,” mentioned Paul Cohen, the opposite lead counsel to the claimants at 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square. “We hope Malaysia will see the cost of being a legal pariah state and come to terms.”
Malaysia’s overseas ministry didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.