Monday, August 20, 2007

ICJ to hear island dispute in November

KOTA TINGGI: Malaysia and Singapore will know early next year who owns Pulau Batu Putih, Middle Rocks and South Ledge when the International Court of Justice (ICJ) makes its decision.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said Malaysia was ready with all the necessary evidence and documents to face Singapore during the hearing on Nov 6.

Malaysia and Singapore both claim sovereignty over the islands and the dispute has been referred to the ICJ in The Hague, the Netherlands.

“So, let ICJ determine the real owner of the islands,” he said.

Syed Hamid said the 50-man Malaysia legal team was headed by adviser for Foreign Affairs to the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Mohamed.

He said the team was the one Malaysia sent to handle the sovereignty dispute over Pulau Sipadan and Pulau Ligitan which Malaysia won.

“The hearing is expected to take between two and three weeks,” Syed Hamid, who is also the MP here, told reporters at the SM Teknik Excellent Award ceremony yesterday.

He said any decision by ICJ would not change the two-way policy between Malaysia and Singapore.

Pulau Batu Putih is about 14.3km from Tanjung Penyusop in Johor and 46.3km from Singapore.

The Middle Rocks is an island about half a nautical mile from Pulau Batu Putih and 1.7 nautical miles from South Ledge

Singapore claimed sovereignty over Pulau Batu Putih in 1979 and the two others in 1993.

On July 24, 2003, Malaysia and Singapore agreed to hand over the matter to ICJ - The Star

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