A concerned Malaysian writes about Malaysian affairs. "You are the Change you Seek" Barack Obama

Saturday, May 24, 2008

On malaysiakini's "Batu Puteh goes to Singapore"

I wonder if we really expected to have a chance at the ICJ.
Put it down to our "tiadapa" maintenance culture. When the lighthouse was being built - that was the time that Johor should have protested to the British on the land title rights.
If you think about it this island is so remote the state administration at the time probably could not be bothered over such a remote outcrop.
I imagine they probably also did not know how to operate a lighthouse.
They had another chance in 1957 when Malaya became independent but I think the government of the day was quite content to let Singapore run the lighthouse as no problems had been reported and fishermen continued to fish in the waters nearby.
I think both countries realised the importance of Pedro Blanca (a Portuguese or Dutch name?) after maritime laws were changed to define the economic zones of one's territorial waters.
I expected Singapore to win as there is a saying "Possession is nine-tenths of the law." Also their legal experts are well-known figures.
For Malaysia I wonder what has been the legal costs to date. If we enter such matters at the ICJ, we must be better prepared or else a TKO would be preferable.
Not all is doom and gloom though. At least the ICJ's decision will enable fishermen to carry on their trade. But the lighthouse will be deemed a security area.
Graphics: thanks to malaysiakini

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