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Friday, May 23, 2008

Singapore takes Batu Puteh

A small island that prove a point for Malaysia and Singapore. The International Court of Justice decides that Singapore takes Pedra Branca and Malaysia retains Middle Rock. The decision is still read when I am blogging.

Taken from the Malaysian Bar website. Thanks to the accurate reporting from the Malaysian Bar Webmaster

Pedra BrancaThe International Court of Justice has ruled by majority of 12-4 that Batu Puteh/Pedra Branca belongs to Singapore. The Court however rules by majority 15-1 that Middle Rocks belong to Malaysia. South Ledge, however, belongs to the state where in the territorial waters of which it is located.

16.17pm: The Court ruled that the Sultan of Johor has consistently claimed sovereignty over Batu Puteh. The Court ruled that Sultan of Johor has original title to Batu Puteh. This is supported by the activities undertaken by the orang laut, being subjects of the Sultan, surrounding Batu Puteh.

16:24pm: The court now discusses whether this 1812 title has been affected by activities which took place between 1824-1840. Despite the 1824 Anglo-Dutch Treaty dividing the Sultanates into Sultanate of Johor and Riau, the Sultan of Johor continues to have territorial title to the island.

16.33pm: Court concludes that when the Hosburgh Lighthouse was constructed on the island in 1844, the Sultan of Johor has sovereignty over the island. The court now discusses whether sovereignty has since passed to Singapore through the conduct of parties such as acquiescence.

16.44pm: Singapore has passed domestic laws to deal with the Hosgburgh Lighthouse. On 21 September 1953, the Acting State Secretary of Johor replied to the British Adviser to the Sultan that the Johor government does not gain ownership over Pedra Branca. The court considers this letter to be of central importance.

17.12pm: The court is of the view that Johor State Secretary's letter is clear in its meaning. The court rules that since 1953, Johor no longer has sovereignty over the island.

17.16pm: However, the court rules that the 1953 letter does not amount to an estoppel. The court also does not feel that the letter is a binding unilateral undertaking and that letter is merely a reply to an enquiry.

17.37pm: The court notes that 6 maps prepared by Malaysia indicating Pedra Branca is within Singapore's territory gives strength to Singapore's argument.

17:40pm: The court rules that Malaysia's conduct since 1953 shows that Singapore has sovereignty over Pedra Branca.

17.45pm: The court rules that Middle Rocks belong to Malaysia.

17:47pm: The court rules that ownership over South Ledge lies with the state in which it is located within its territorial waters.

1 comment:

sebol said...

Saya nak tengok macam mana rupanya kandungan surat September 1953 itu.