Editor: I’m just back from Vint Cerf’s talk and a little tired, so if things do not make sense here, I hope tomorrow’s post will. =)

Was it expected? I’m not sure. Perhaps it might be, perhaps not. However, since it was one of the outcomes possible, I would think that Singapore would have been mentally prepared. If you are not sure what I am referring to, it’s about Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) that I am talking about. There was a dispute on who should really own the rock and this was brought up to the ICJ to decide who has sovereignty over it. Me, for one, really didn’t expect this kind of outcome.

Singapore lost…

Singapore lost 2 of the outer rocks to Malaysia (known as Middle Rocks) as well as a 3rd rock (known as South Ledge), while retaining the main island (Pedra Branca). This is probably ICJ’s idea of win-win situation. I have not seen the size of the 2 rocks, but if they were big enough, Malaysia could install surveillance system on the rocks to monitor what Singapore is up to. With all the recent happenings in Malaysia, I won’t be surprised if they stoop to this.

I wonder what impact this has on Malaysian PM Abdullah Bedawi.

A 28-YEAR-OLD tussle for sovereignty over Pedra Branca and its outcrops came to an end on Friday when the International Court of Justice (ICJ) awarded the main island to Singapore, and two smaller outcrops nearby to Malaysia.

The court did not make a definitive ruling on the third rock of contention, South Ledge which is visible only at low tide. It belongs to whoever owns the territorial waters it sits in, said the court.

The judgment was telecast live in both countries, and when Judge Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh concluded his two-hour statement at 6pm, Singaporeans and Malaysians alike applauded the decision.

Deputy Prime Minister S Jayakumar told reporters at The Hague: ‘We are pleased with the judgment because the court has awarded sovereignty over Pedra Branca, which is the main feature in dispute, to Singapore.’

Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Rais Yatim described it as a ‘win-win’ judgment and said that both countries would ‘forge ahead’ in their bilateral relationship.

In Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong declared he was pleased with the result, saying that resorting to the ICJ was ‘a good way for (the two countries) to resolve disagreements or problems while maintaining good relations with each other’

In Malaysia, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak called it a ‘balanced decision’, with Malaysia ‘partly successful’ in its territorial claims.

The two hours at the ICJ were suspense-filled and had the Singapore delegation, led by Deputy Prime Minister S Jayakumar, at the edge of their seats for much of the time.

For the first hour, it actually seemed as if the court would find in Malaysia’s favour.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 24th May 2008



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