The chief reason that the island belonged to Johor was laid in the Treaty of Cession of Singapore, between the British East India Company and the sultan and the temenggong of Johor. It implied that Johor had sovereignty over islets beyond 10 miles of its coast. The island is located 25.5 nautical miles from Singapore. This is further strengthened by the fact that the British government had requested approval from the Sultanate of Johor to build a lighthouse on the island, which Johor agreed to provide in 1844. Apart from that, the Singaporean claim on the island violates the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824.According to a friend of mine who has pretty close relations to the Malaysian team fighting the case, he said Malaysia is very confident of winning it because of their success record in the past. In 2002, the ICJ awarded two islands, Sipadan and Ligitan to Malaysia after a similar dispute between Malaysia and Indonesia.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Wikipedia has an excellent entry on Pedra Branca, the tiny island that is currently the subject of a territorial dispute between Singapore and Malaysia. Both countries are now presenting their case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). From Wikipedia:
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