Friday, May 23, 2008
ICJ Awards Pedra Branca to Singapore
Okay, let's summarise the International Court of Justice's ruling:
• Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) belongs to Singapore.
• Middle Rocks belong to Malaysia.
• South Ledge is still undetermined and subject to discussions between both countries.
Even before the verdict was handed down, my own thoughts about this issue is: I don't really mind which side wins ownership of the island. If the Malaysians get it then it'll be an abundant fishing site for Johor fishermen. If the Singaporeans get it then it could probably be turned into a valuable eco-tourism site. Besides, having the lack of land in Singapore means that they'll be able to treasure the island more than Malaysia. And if it were up to me to decide, I would've forced both countries to share sovereignity and this essentially turns the territory into a condominium (no, not that kind of condo you're thinking of).
Just take a look at the Diomede Islands in the Bering Straits which is split down the middle between Russia and America. Who says this is a loss for Malaysia? This is not a life-or-death situation and neither is our country in a state of war. Trust me, I agree with Rais Yatim when he says this judgement is a win-win situation for both sides. If Malaysia is still unsatisfied then they ought to do something like build an installation of their own on Middle Rocks. There are seriously other pressing matters for both Malaysia and Singapore other than the islands' ownership. Right after they solve the South Ledge dillemma, let's just close the books and move on.
Related news articles:
• Reuters - Maritime disputes in Asia
• The Malaysian Insider - Johor letter 'gave island to Singapore'