SINGAPORE, Oct 15 — Singapore stands ready to robustly defend its sovereignty over Pedra Branca and will deal with whatever legal action Malaysia may pursue, says the republic’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) spokesperson.
The spokesperson said this in a statement in response to media queries on Malaysia’s decision to proceed with legal action at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the dispute involving sovereignty over Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks, and South Ledge.
“Singapore is unable to comment on Malaysia’s intentions to continue legal action at ICJ since no details have been shared,” the spokesman added.
Caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Thursday (Oct 13) said that the Cabinet had agreed on the matter after hearing the presentation and proposals by the special task force to review laws relating to sovereignty over the disputed islets on Oct 7.
He said the special task force had also proposed that the government take appropriate action to defend the country’s sovereignty.
Ismail Sabri said in a statement that the meeting was informed on the possibility of negligence and error on the part of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when Malaysia missed the opportunity to file a review application against the ICJ judgment in 2008.
In May 2008, the ICJ awarded Pedra Branca to Singapore, Middle Rocks to Malaysia, and said South Ledge, a rock formation visible only at low tide, belongs to whoever owns the territorial waters it sits in.