Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pulau Batu Puteh goes to Singapore

Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh: SINGAPORE (12 votes - 4 Votes)
Middle Rocks/Terumbu Tengah: MALAYSIA (15 votes - 1 vote)
South Ledge/Terumbu Selatan: WILL BE DECIDED SOON… (15 votes - 1 vote)

The International Court of Justice here today ruled Singapore has sovereignty over Pulau Batu Puteh while Malaysia owns Middle Rocks, and South Ledge belongs to the state in whose territorial waters it is located.

The judgment brought to a close a 28-year-old territorial dispute between Malaysia and Singapore over the island which Singapore called Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge.
Pulau Batu Puteh is located 7.7 nautical miles off the coast of Johor’s Tanjung Penyusuh. Both countries have pledged to abide by the decision of the ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, whose decision is final and not subject to appeal.

Malaysia and Singapore have also repeatedly emphasised that whatever decision handed down by the ICJ, would not strain ties between the two neighbours.

The judgment was delivered by ICJ Vice-President Shawkat Al-Khasawneh, who was the Acting President in the case, at 10am Netherlands time and ended reading out the verdict five minutes before noon.

Shawkat and 15 other judges had heard oral submissions by both countries from Nov 6-23 last year.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim regarded the judgment as a “win-win” situation and stated that the status quo remained although Singapore had sovereignty over Pulau Batu Puteh and Malaysia over Middle Rocks.

The delivery of the judgment was televised live by RTM from The Hague, Netherlands, from 10am (4pm in Malaysia).

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