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Surah Yaasin Amazing Recitation



Saturday, May 24, 2008

Of Pulau Batu Puteh and Middle Rocks

What a sad day for Malaysian history. We lost Pulau Batu Puteh to Singapore and we only got the "Rocks".

I am sure that a lot of Malaysians are not familiar with the whole process, I mean the Hearing process over the dispute of the ownership of Pulau Batu Puteh or Pedra Branca as it is known in Singapore, Middle Rocks and South Ledge, let alone the real issue surrounding the case and the provision and authority of the International Law. Unfortunately, Datuk Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim, the very few politicians in Malaysia, whom I regard has brain and I consider him a law expert, in his statement made on 15/5/2008 expressed his confidence that the verdict over Pulau Batu Puteh would be in Malaysia's favour. Read here That statement, I believe, has given high hope among Malaysians that Pulau Batu Puteh is ours because that statement came from none others than Rais Yatim. So, when the ICJ made the ruling in handing over the island to Singapore, I believe that most Malaysians, if not all, were so frustrated over the decision taking into consideration the high hope they were given earlier by Rais Yatim.

And now, after the verdict, Rais Yatim said that it was a win-win verdcit for both parties. Read here He said so because Malaysia got half and Singapore got half. So, it is a win-win situation. Come on!!! This is not in sports where 1-1 is a draw. This is a fight over the sovereignty of the jurisdiction of the country. So, it is not a draw and it is not a win-win verdict for both countries. It is Singapore who won and Malaysia lost in the race. While at least a lighthouse could be built on Pulau Batu Puteh (photo below), I wonder, looking at The Rocks (photo below) what can we do on this few rocks apart from asking our fishermen to go fishing there? Read here This is not The Rock a.k.a Alcatraz. This is a real Rocks. I am waiting for the government's explanation on what can be done on The Rocks.
Middle Rocks

Pulau Batu Puteh

One question for Rais Yatim, what was our priority when we referred the dispute to ICJ? Was it Pulau Batu Puteh or the other two "rocks islands"? I am sure that our priority was Pulau Batu Puteh and as such, how can that be a win-win verdict when we lost our priority. Middle Rocks is just a consolation prize. By the way, what is the malay name for Middle Rock? Batu Tengah?

On another note, why did Rais Yatim said that it was a win-win verdict for both countries when Pak Lah sadly accepted the verdict (read here while his counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong pleased with the verdict? (read here To Rais Yatim, go and tell Pak Lah that it is a win-win verdict. What a rubbish statement from Rais Yatim!!!
Three reasons were given why Pulau Batu Buteh was awarded to Singapore Read here i.e.: -
(a) Failure to show ownership over Pulau Batu Puteh;
(b) Maps that indicated Singapore's sovereignty over the island; and
(c) Reply from Johor state official saying that the state did not have sovereignty over the island.
Well, it is not fair to blame the present or the previous government alone on this issue, as this involve the activity that took place more than 100 years ago. But moving forward, the present government should be more alert on Singapore's activity on their border with Malaysia. The government has to make sure that there will be no more handing over of any of our territorial jurisdiction to Singapore. Learn from the past mistakes. Pulau Batu Puteh could be the beginning of many more. If Malaysia thinks that it is the end of the story, do not be surprise if Singapore regards the victory as the beginning of their journey to expand their territorial jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, a lot have been said about Iskandar Malaysia being a project that will benefit Singaporean more than the Malaysian in general and Johorian in particular. So far, the government has denied the allegation and I hope their denial is genuine and not for the sake of sweeping things under the carpet. Otherwise, Iskandar Malaysia will be Singapore's. Let us hope that this will not happen.
Last but not least, there is no more Pulau Batu Puteh. It is Pedra Branca now.


amen said...

Leave aside the batu puteh, what about the water.........we lost too?? seems batu puteh only 10km from malaysia. Can someone help to publish map before and after the verdict, including the water.

Rozaimi Bin Mohd Said said...

Amen, Pulau Batu Puteh...ooops, Pedra Branca located 7.7 nautical miles fom Johor and 25.5 nautical miles from Singapore. It is not about distance. It is about ownership. Ownership is not determined by distance. There are a lot of other factors, in this case that determined the ownership of Pulau Batu Puteh and distance was not a factor.

But what puzzled me is the locations of Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge. Click here for the map

Now, Pulau Batu Puteh is Singapore's and the ownersip of South Ledge has not been determined, as the ICJ has ruled that its ownership would depend on whose territorial waters it was located in. This means that there will be another mechanism to decide whether South Ledge belongs to either Malaysia or Singapore.

As I said earlier, distance does not determine ownership, which means even though South Ledge located near to Middle Rocks as compared to Pulau Batu Puteh, there is always a possiblity that South Ledge may belong to Singapore, if at all, South Ledge falls within Singapore's territorial waters.

Assuming that South Ledge belongs to Singapore, that will mean: -

(1) that our territorial water surrounding Middle Rocks will be very limited, as it is squeezed and located between Pulau Batu Puteh and South Ledge;

(2) there is possibility that Middle Rocks is surrounded by Singapore's territorial water;

Another thing, I wonder why our newspaper reported the reasons why Pulau Batu Puteh went to Singapore but mentioned nothing with regards to Midle Rocks. I will comment once I have the opportunity to read the full judgment of the ICJ.