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Monday, May 26, 2008

Pulau Batu Putih: Rewarding Singapore Thru Legal Channels?(Updated)

I read Karpal Singh’s statement on Malaysiakini and I could not help but to agree with him. I am sure that the BN government could tell that the strength of the case long before the case was brought to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

I am very sure that the Malaysian legal team would’ve seen the letter mentioned by Dr Rais Yatim:

“Rais said the ICJ also considered a letter writen by the Johor acting state secretary on Sept 21, 1953 which stated that “Johore government (did) not claim ownership” of the island.

The letter was in response to an enquiry by Singapore Colonial Secretary seeking to clarify the status of Pulau Batu Puteh where a lighthouse had been built, with a view to determining the “boundaries of the Colony’s territorial waters”.:

Rule of thumb will tell u that anything in black and white is always legal and binding. It doesn’t take a lawyer to understand that.

As such, my feeling is that the Malaysian government should not have brought the case to the ICJ and opted for a 3rd option. For instance, the Malaysian govt could award Singapore a 99 years lease without ceasing possession of the Island or we could share the Island or split the Island.

What I agree with Karpal Singh is that who is the genius who called for ICJ solution when it’s in black and white that we’ve ceased possession of the Island in black and white? We should’ve opted for other more equitable options.

I hope Karpal Singh will not be labeled as unpatriotic or indicted for treason for questioning the Malaysian govt on this loss. I think the fact that Karpal questioning BN’s incompetence is an act of patriotism. No one can question Karpal’s spirit of patriotism now.

In fact, I think it’s strange that a party (DAP) which stems from the PAP is voicing their unhappiness to the loss of territory to the Singaporeans.

UMNO and BN has had a long history of losing Malaysian land without a fight. The biggest example is the loss of Singapore. Now, it seems losing to Singapore is part of UMNO’s DNA.

Or an alternative explanation is that the 4th floor boys, trying to appease their Singapore close friends by opting this course of action? They knew that the case is a weak one and by pushing for ICJ resolution, they know that the island will be ceased in a manner that they cannot be blamed for?

In return, they get rewards from the Singapore in the form that will never be told to the public? Could this be a possible explanation?

I mean for Oxford and Cambridge graduates like the ones in 4th floor Putrajaya, they can sure tell whether the case is either a shoe-in or a goner. Why then did they allow for such resolution that will definitely benefit the Singaporeans?

I don’t know, the entire story doesn’t add up. It’s so easy for us to let go our territory and to say that our government is too incompetent to know the strength of the case, that’s just too far fetched if u ask me. I think definitely something stinks here.

Abdul Rahman Abdul Talib

(Taken from Malaysiakini: "
Karpal: Was gov't ill-advised? May 24, 08 4:35pm")

Veteran opposition legislator Karpal Singh believes that Malaysia had been dealt a severe blow by losing its claim over Pulau Batu Puteh and wonders if it was due to ill legal advice.

Karpal said in any legal pronouncement, one must be prepared to lose, but added that the Malaysian government should not have agreed to bring the dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) unless it was confident of a win.

“I wonder whether the Malaysian government took the proper legal advice before subjecting itself to a possible decision of momentous proportions for the country, both politically and psychologically,” he said in a statement today.

The DAP chairperson was commenting on the 12 to 4 verdict handed down by the ICJ yesterday over Malaysia and Singapore’s claim of sovereignty on the rocky uninhabitable island of Pulau Batu Puteh south of Johor.

In the same hearing, the ICJ also decided that Malaysia has sovereign right over that another maritime feature known as Middle Rocks which is 1.1km south of Pulau Batu Puteh.

Not ‘win-win’ situation

Describing the loss of Pulau Batu Puteh as “disappointing”, Karpal expressed his disagreement with Foreign Minister Dr Rais Yatim who said that the ICJ’s verdict was a ‘win-win’ decision.

“Contrary to what Rais said that the decision of the ICJ is a win-win situation, no doubt, it is Singapore which obtained more than an edge over Malaysia’s claim over Pulau Batu Puteh.

“The right to Pulau Batu Puteh was the principal dispute before the ICJ, and not the insignificant and minute Middle Rocks,” he said.

Karpal, who is also Bukit Gelugor MP, said Malaysia should accept that it has lost out to Singapore both in “dignity and kind”.

The veteran lawyer also warned that the ICJ decision may well lead to other future disputes of a maritime nature between Malaysia and Singapore.

For now, it is uncertain how the two country’s maritime borders would be affected.

Our arguments not weak

In another development, Rais defended Malaysia’s arguments presented before the ICJ and claimed that the loss in the case was not due to weaknesses in arguments.

"The fact that we have lost Pulau Batu Puteh is not due to the weakness of our arguments but to the lack of exercise by the authorities (on that island) for some 100 years," he told Malaysian journalists at the Malaysian embassy in The Hague, Holland.

He noted that the ICJ’s decision to award sovereignty of Pulau Batu Puteh to Singapore was based on the fact that from 1850 to 1953, Malaysia did not effect any action or grounds which could be accepted as proof os sovereignty.

This acts of sovereignity could be in terms of occupation, conducting checks or supervision activities on the disputed island, explained Rais.

Rais said the ICJ also considered a letter writen by the Johor acting state secretary on Sept 21, 1953 which stated that “Johore government (did) not claim ownership” of the island.

The letter was in response to an enquiry by Singapore Colonial Secretary seeking to clarify the status of Pulau Batu Puteh where a lighthouse had been built, with a view to determining the “boundaries of the Colony’s territorial waters”.

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  1. It was just a free trip to The Hague for the so-called 'legal' team + wisma putra team + entourage. I hope their 'holiday' photos will surface in a couple of years time.

  2. The Malaysian legal team must be sleeping like the PM.

    What the hell are they talking???

    In 1953, a country call Singapore does not even exit.

    Only after 1963, the Kiasu Land was formed.

    How can Singapore claim that the island is theirs before they are "born"?

    Like Kapar Singh, Malaysian government was ill advised and the legal team is ill prepared???

  3. The Malaysian government was over confident in pursuing this course of action coming on the backs of their successful win against Indonesia wrt the Sipadan Island case.

    So may be it is Indonesia who are happier for Malaysia's lost in this court case?

  4. dear lose lose situation,
    it's people like you who are not very educated which think they are educated which makes malaysia lose face. Hello. Read your history books. In 1819 Britain already founded Singapore under the crown. So in 1953, Singapore exists but under BRITISH administration, just like MALAYSIA !! so blur. What are you talking about.

  5. Dear all,

    I personally suspect that the entire thing is a giveaway to the Singaporeans by the 4th floor boys, for a price of course.

    If they knew that the case against them is weak, then they should not have brought the case to ICJ.

    I mean, isnt the inhabitants of 4th Floor a bunch of Oxbridge gradutates? They're supposed to be smart.

  6. Please accept the ICJ's decision that Malaysia lost to Singapore over sovereignty of Pulau Batu Putih. And there is nothing we can do about this except to learn from our mistakes, that we did not do our homework wheresas the Singapore side did. I don't think KJ and the 4th floor boys have anything to do with this as they are busy with other matters. So don't go overboard in walloping them to vent our frustrations. Now the whole world knows that we feel hurt and humiliated not because we lost a rocky outcrop the size of a football field, but because we lost our face. The ICJ tried to give us some face by awarding us a cluster of rocks, which if we still have our maruah, we should just surrender these to Singapore as obviously they are part of Pulau Batu Putih. As for Rais Yatim, it is high time he resign as foreign minister by making stupid comments like "win-win" when the whole country feels that we have lost to Singapore. Malu tersangat!!

  7. Malaysia did not lose Singapore; Malaysia EJECTED Singapore. Malaysia kicked out Singapore because Umno could NEVER accept the politics of the PAP. By hook or by crook, and that's what happened.

    Get your facts right.

  8. The ICJ didn't award Malaysia with Pulau Batu Puteh. But at least they gave Malaysia the 'kachang puteh' 1.1km south of the island right =)

  9. "On August 7, 1965, Tunku Abdul Rahman announced to the Malaysian Parliament in Kuala Lumpur that the Parliament should vote yes on the resolution to have Singapore to leave the Federation, choosing to "sever all ties with a State Government that showed no measure of loyalty to its Central Government" as opposed to the undesirable method of suppressing the PAP for its actions. Singapore's secession and independence became official on August 9, 1965."

    So did Malaysia lose Singapore or Malaysia disown Singapore?

  10. The fact that Tunku pushed for the resolution proves that Tunku and UMNO lost the land.

    Other countries, will shed blood just to maintain their border. UMNO and BN give away lands like nobody's business.

    Furthermore,i strongly suspect that Batu Puteh is a giveaway from the 4th floor Boys to Singapore, for a reward, of course.

  11. If Singapore was not 'ejected' by Tunku, Pulau Batu Puteh will until today remain under Malaysian soil. Tunku Abdul Rahman, a University of Cambridge graduate, ill-advised?

  12. There's a reason why the British purposely glorify graduates of Cambridge and Oxford.

    The alumni will be reliable players to the British plans for pan-britanica


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