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Jakarta Post

Singapore gets Pedra Branca: What's next?

  • I Made Andi Arsana

Yogyakarta   /   Tue, June 24 2008   /  10:01 am

A big decision has been made. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) decided to award contested Pedra Branca (PB) island to Singapore on May 23, 2008. This was not a complete defeat for Malaysia since it gained Middle Rocks. Meanwhile, the sovereignty of South Ledge remains undecided. The 28-year ownership dispute over these three islands in the eastern entrance of Singapore Strait was brought to the ICJ in 2003 by Malaysia and Singapore. Public hearings were held in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Nov. 6-23, 2007, where the two claimants presented their arguments. The ICJ decision was made by majority vote six months later. The future of Pedra Branca was central to the dispute, so the decision may be viewed as a victory for Singapore. This case reminds us of the earlier dispute over the islands of Sipadan and Ligitan, decided in 2002 between Indonesia and Malaysia. Then...