Sultan of Johor revisits territorial dispute with Singapore: ‘It’s like giving up without a fight’
10/14/2021. JOHOR BARU: Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar is demanding for a clear explanation from the Federal Government on the erroneous decision during the tenure of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2018 to drop the review application for the Pulau Batu Puteh case in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
“Not pursuing the case was as good as admitting defeat even before going into the legal battle in the ICJ. We had found new evidence in our favour, but we had no chance to press our case as someone decided to drop the suit. Why? This is what upsets me most.
Wiki: Pedra Branca is an outlying island and also the easternmost point of Singapore. The name means “white rock” in Portuguese (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpɛðɾɐ ˈβɾɐ̃kɐ]), and refers to whitish guano (bird droppings) deposited on the rock. The island consists of a small outcrop of granite rocks with an area of about 8,560 square metres (92,100 sq ft) at low tide. During the low water spring tide it measures, at its longest, 137 metres (449 ft) and has an average width of 60 metres (200 ft). Pedra Branca is situated at 1°19′48″N 104°24′27″E, where the Singapore Strait meets the South China Sea.
“We declared defeat even before going into battle. Was Johor’s sovereignty not important to the government at the time? Why were we treated like a step-child state? If you don’t like Johor… how would Kedahans feel if Malaysia lost Langkawi to Thailand?” said Sultan Ibrahim.
The ruler said the special committee established by the current prime minister must ascertain the real reason behind Dr Mahathir’s government’s decision at the time to abandon the case review.
the allegations of negligence in the matter are true, this warrants stern action against those responsible. This is a matter of our nation’s sovereignty,” said Sultan Ibrahim via the Royal Press Office (RPO).
The statement was posted on Sultan Ibrahim’s official Facebook page today.
Menteri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad had given the state government’s assurance and guarantee that it would cooperate and assist in the special committee’s undertakings into the Pulau Batu Puteh issue.
The establishment of the special committee was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to conduct a thorough study, scrutinise and recommend suitable options by seeking views from international legal experts.
On Feb 3, 2017, the Malaysian government applied for a review of the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) made on May 23, 2008, which ruled that Singapore had sovereignty over Pulau Batu Puteh while Malaysia had sovereignty over Terumbu Karang Tengah.
Malaysia applied to revise the ICJ judgment over Pulau Batu Puteh based on three documents declassified by the United Kingdom to support the application.
These are the internal correspondence of the Singapore colonial authorities in 1958, an incident report filed in 1958 by a British naval officer and an annotated map of naval operations from the 1960s.
On Feb 16, 2017, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, who was then the Attorney-General, said he would lead a team of experts to handle the review at the ICJ, The Hague in the Netherlands.
However, in 2018, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, under the leadership of Dr Mahathir withdrew the application before the case was scheduled to be heard on June 11, 2018.
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