Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Johor MB comments on Pulau Batu Putih dispute

By Hamdan

TANGKAK: Johor will accept the decision reached by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Pulau Batu Putih dispute between Malaysia and Singapore.

Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said the state and the Malaysian Government had agreed for the dispute to be resolved by ICJ and would look forward to the outcome.

Speaking to reporters here, he said it was just like the case where Malaysia accepted the decision regarding the dispute with Indonesia on Pulau Ligitan near Sabah several years ago.

“There has been a precedent on resolving such disputes when Malaysia agreed to bring related matters to the International Court of Justice.

“Similarly, we brought the land reclamation works carried out by Singapore in the Johor Straits to the International Tribunal of The Law of The Sea in Hamburg to resolve the issue,” he said recently.

Abdul Ghani, who accompanied his wife Datin Paduka Prof Jamilah Arifin in launching the Johor Healthy Women Carnival 2007, said the state hoped the outcome would favour Malaysia.

Recently, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said Malaysia and Singapore would know early next year which side owns Pulau Batu Putih, Middle Rocks and South Ledge when the ICJ makes its decision.

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

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 other places in 1993.

On July 24, 2003, Malaysia and Singapore agreed to hand over the matter to ICJ.

Commenting on Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s statement recently for Malaysia to lead in economic cooperation in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR), he said it was open to participation.

He said that Malaysia was the world’s 17th top trading nation and any economic growth, including in IDR, would be based on open economic investment.

He said that economic investment in Singapore also observed such open participation and hoped investment in the growth region would be continuous.

Lee recently said that Singapore-Malaysia cooperation, which he described as good, would proceed at the pace Malaysia was comfortable with.

Lee also hoped that Malaysia would accept whatever the outcome was in the dispute between the two nations over Pulau Batu Putih - The Star

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