MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Monday, January 30, 2023

Not appealing ICJ's Batu Puteh decision was Dr M's failure as PM, says Anwar


Pulau Batu Puteh. -filepic

SINGAPORE: It is regretful that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad did not appeal the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) ruling in awarding legal jurisdiction of Batu Puteh to Singapore, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"We have taken a very strong position expressing our regret for the failure of the then prime minister Dr Mahathir to not appeal when we lost the case at the ICJ. But that's done – the ICJ has given their decision and as a country, we have to respect the decision.

"But we have to express that we actually disagree and it is wrong for any prime minister to ignore this issue of sovereignty. I understand that we lost the case but we did not appeal when we should have done so," he said during a high tea event here following his meeting with his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong.

He added that while Malaysia respects the decision, it also expresses its "pain" over the issue.

"But should we go to war over Batu Puteh? No, that is madness," he said.

"However, negotiations can be conducted on matters such as the environment or projects there that could affect Malaysia's sovereignty.

"These are the things that we can do other than leaving it, and then continuing tension," he said.

On Feb 3, 2017, the Malaysian government filed an application for a revision of the ICJ's ruling in awarding legal jurisdiction of Batu Puteh to Singapore while Malaysia was awarded Middle Rocks and South Ledge.

However, in 2018, the then Pakatan Harapan government under Dr Mahathir's leadership withdrew the application before its scheduled hearing on June 11, 2018.

On Dec 14 last year, Anwar called for the claim on Batu Puteh to be reviewed through immediate and more meaningful negotiations with Singapore, without jeopardising bilateral relations. - Star

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