Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Johor Gov And People Accept Whatever Decision On Batu Putih

JOHOR BAHARU, May 13 - The people of Johor and the state government will accept whatever decision made by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands on the sovereignty over Pulau Batu Putih on May 23, said Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.

He said that Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim would be granted an audience with the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Iskandar, on Thursday to explain to the Ruler the case presented by Malaysia at the ICJ hearing.

"When the Malaysian government and Singapore chose the International Court of Justice as the arbitrator (on ownership over Pulau Batu Putih), we have to accept whatever decision that is made (by ICJ)," he said here today.

He said this to reporters after witnessing the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) and Telekom Malaysia and MSC Cyberport Sdn Bhd.

Both countries had presented their cases to the ICJ on their respective claims over Pulau Batu Putih from Nov 6 to 23 before the proceedings were adjourned. The hearing will resume on May 23.

The dispute between Malaysia and Singapore over the sovereignty on Pulau Batu Putih had been going on for almost 28 years, but it was only referred to the ICJ in February 2003.

Pulau Batu Puteh, measuring 0.2 hectares, is an outcrop of rocks which is about the size of two football fields and located 12.8km off the coast of Pengerang and 64km east of Singapore.

Abdul Ghani said although Pulau Batu Puteh was located within Johor waters, the ICJ decision was being awaited not only by the people of Johor but all Malaysians.

He said Johor State Secretary Datuk Abdul Latif Yusof and senior officers from the Johor Land Office would leave for The Hague to attend the announcement on the decison.

Meanwhile, the Menteri Besar said the state government would open up 1,200 hectares of land in Kota Tinggi to be turned into a Food Valley for the planting of vegetables and fruit trees as well as for animal husbandry as part of the efforts to enhance food security.

The opening up of the Food Valley in Kota Tinggi is a follow-up to the Food Valley in Air Hitam which had been opened up for the planting of vegetables and fruit trees as well as cattle breeding several years ago - Bernama

No comments: