MALAYSIA CONFUSED OVER ICJ RULING OF PEDRA BRANCA, ASKED ICJ TO EXPLAIN AGAIN

Dear A.S.S. Editor

Singapore has responded to Malaysia’s application at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to declare the waters surrounding Pedra Branca as within their territorial waters as a puzzling move by the Malaysians, and without merit, and one that Singapore will oppose.

In a 2008 ruling, the ICJ awarded Pedra Branca to Singapore, the neighbouring Middle Rocks to Malaysia and the nearby South Ledge as belonging to the country in whose territorial waters it is sited. In the application, Malaysia has also wanted ICJ to declare the South Ledge as being in Malaysia’s territorial waters, and therefore belongs to them.

MFA responded by saying the ICJ ruling of 2008 was clear and unambiguous, and thus Malaysia’s application for interpretation is unnecessary and without merit. Some experts claimed that Malaysia’s latest move, on top of them bidding to revise the ICJ’s ruling of Pedra Branca filed in February this year, as an attempt to win over Malaysian voters, and both attempts are unlikely to stand up to scrutiny.

Desmond Ong

A.S.S. Contributor

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