Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Let’s not lose more of our islands

WE have just lost Pulau Batu Puteh to Singapore and I hope it will be the last. The Malaysian Government must ensure that all islands, outcrops and atolls that belong to us in the South China Sea, the Straits of Malacca and around Sabah and Sarawak are properly marked and documented to be known to the world that they belong to us. We cannot afford to lose any more land to foreign countries.

Besides ascertaining the locations of islands, outcrops and atolls that belong to us, we must do more than just claiming they belong to us and leave them as they are. If they are large ones they must be inhabited and developed on a permanent basis.

Some of them could be far away but efforts must be made to encourage Malaysians to live and develop these places.

Another immediate effort is to look into all ancient agreements that the British made with our rulers like the one on Pulau Batu Puteh. These agreements must be revoked as they were made when Malaysia (or Malaya at that point of time) had no formal government and the rulers were at the beck and call of the British.

This is modern time and Malaysia has an elected government and any agreement made by the British must be looked into and if need be, revoked. We cannot have foreigners administering or governing even an inch of our land.

If lighthouses must be operated, then it should be done by us and not by foreigners like at Pulau Pisang, off Pontian.

As a mark of ownership and loyalty to the country, non-governmental organisations and corporate entities should be encouraged to erect flag poles and fly the Jalur Gemilang on all the islands, outcrops and atolls.


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