Friday, 23 May 2008

We Lost

It is very sad that Malaysia once again lost its territory. Having read below judgment, Pulau Batu Puteh clearly belongs to Johor. The only reason why it favored Singapore just because of the letter written on 12 June 1953. I don’t know who was that Acting State of Johor that could write such letter. Since Singapore thinks 100 years ahead of Malaysia, they started controlling the island by installing military equipment. No response from Malaysia at that time. Perhaps, they didn’t think much, what we could do with that island.

My analogy as below:

I have a car. Suddenly without my authorization my personal assistant sends a letter to my so called “good” friend that I would not claim that car anymore, so he/she could use it. Then my friend used that letter to JPJ to get his name stamped on the car certificate. I lost my car!!!

Reasoning of the Court

The Court first explains that the dispute between Malaysia and Singapore concerns sovereignty over three maritime features in the Straits of Singapore: Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh (a granite island on which Horsburgh lighthouse stands), Middle Rocks (consisting of some rocks that are permanently above water) and South Ledge (a low-tide elevation).

Having described the historical background of the case, the Court notes that the dispute as to sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh crystallized on 14 February 1980, when Singapore protested against the publication in 1979 by Malaysia of a map depicting the island as lying within Malaysia’s territorial waters. It further observes that the dispute as to sovereignty over Middle Rocks and South Ledge crystallized on 6 February 1993, when Singapore referred to the two features in the context of its claim to Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh during bilateral negotiations.

-Sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh

Malaysia contends that it has an original title to Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh (dating back from the time of its predecessor, the Sultanate of Johor) and that it continues to hold this title, while Singapore claims that the island was terra nullius in the mid-1800s when the United Kingdom (its predecessor) took lawful possession of the island in order to construct a lighthouse.

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Having reviewed the evidence submitted by the Parties, the Court finds that the territorial domain of the Sultanate of Johor did cover in principle all the islands and islets within the Straits of Singapore and did thus include Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh. It establishes that this possession of the islands by the Sultanate was never challenged by any other Power in the region; and that it therefore satisfies the condition of “continuous and peaceful display of territorial sovereignty”. The Court thus concludes that the Sultanate of Johor had original title to Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh. It adds that this ancient title is confirmed by the nature and degree of the Sultan of Johor’s authority exercised over the Orang Laut (“the people of the sea”, who inhabited or visited the islands in the Straits of Singapore, including Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh and made this maritime area their habitat). (MAS 1 SIN 0)

The Court then looks at whether this title was affected by developments in the period between 1824 and the 1840s. In March 1824, the colonial Powers in the region, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, signed a Treaty which had the practical effect of broadly establishing the spheres of influence of the two Powers in the East Indies. As a consequence, one part of the Sultanate of Johor (under Sultan Hussein) fell within the British sphere of influence while the other (under Sultan Abdul Rahman, Sultan Hussein’s brother) fell within a Dutch sphere of influence. In August 1824, Sultan Hussein ceded the island of Singapore, together with its adjacent seas, straits, and islets to the extent of 10 geographical miles from the coast of Singapore to the English East India Company in the so-called Crawfurd Treaty. Finally, in a letter of 25 June 1825, Sultan Abdul Rahman “donated” certain territories, which were already within the British sphere of influence, to his brother, thereby confirming the division of the “old” Sultanate of Johor. After careful consideration of the legal effects of these developments, the Court finds that none of them brought any change to the original title. (MAS 1 SIN 0 )

The Court turns next to the legal status of Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh after the 1840s to determine whether Malaysia and its predecessor retained sovereignty over the island. It observes that in order to do so, it needs to assess the relevant facts, consisting mainly of the conduct of the Parties (and of their predecessors) during the period under review.

The Court examines the events surrounding the selection process of the site of the lighthouse and the construction of the latter, as well as the conduct of the Parties’ predecessors between 1852 and 1952 (in particular with respect to the British and Singapore legislation relating to Horsburgh lighthouse and in the context of the Straits lights system; constitutional developments of Singapore and Malaysia; and Johor regulation of fisheries in the 1860s), but is unable to draw any conclusions for the purposes of the case. (MAS 0 – SIN 0)

The Court notes that in a letter written on 12 June 1953 to the British Adviser to the Sultan of Johor, the Colonial Secretary of Singapore asked for information about the status of Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh in the context of determining the boundaries of the “Colony’s territorial waters”. In a letter dated 21 September 1953, the Acting State Secretary of Johor replied that the “Johore Government [did] not claim ownership” of the island. The Court considers that this correspondence and its interpretation are of central importance “for determining the developing understanding of the two Parties about sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh” and finds that the Johor’s reply shows that as of 1953 Johor understood that it did not have sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh. (MAS 0 – SIN 1)

The Court finally examines the conduct of the Parties after 1953 with respect to the island. Having reviewed all arguments submitted to it, it finds that certain acts, inter alia the investigation of shipwrecks by Singapore within the island’s territorial waters and the permission granted or not granted by Singapore to Malaysian officials to survey the waters surrounding the island, may be seen as conduct à titre de souverain. The Court also considers that some weight can be given to the conduct of the Parties in support of Singapore’s claim (i.e., the absence of reaction from Malaysia to the flying of the Singapore ensign on the island, the installation by Singapore of military

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communications equipment on the island in 1977, and the proposed reclamation plans by Singapore to extend the island, as well as a few specific publications and maps).

The Court concludes, especially by reference to the conduct of Singapore and its predecessors à titre de souverain, taken together with the conduct of Malaysia and its predecessors including their failure to respond to the conduct of Singapore and its predecessors, that by 1980 (when the dispute crystallized) sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh had passed to Singapore. The Court thus concludes that sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh belongs to Singapore. (MAS 0 – SIN 1)

⎯ Sovereignty over Middle Rocks and South Ledge

Malaysia claims that the two maritime features have always been under Johor/Malaysian sovereignty while Singapore’s position is that sovereignty over the features goes together with sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh.

With respect to Middle Rocks, the Court observes that the particular circumstances which led it to find that sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh rests with Singapore clearly do not apply to Middle Rocks. It therefore finds that original title to Middle Rocks should remain with Malaysia as the successor to the Sultanate of Johor.

As for South Ledge, the Court notes that this low-tide elevation falls within the apparently overlapping territorial waters generated by Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh and by Middle Rocks. Recalling that it has not been mandated by the Parties to draw the line of delimitation with respect to their territorial waters in the area, the Court concludes that sovereignty over South Ledge belongs to the State in the territorial waters of which it is located.

I don’t read law, but my assumption, this middle rock just want to please Malaysia :P

Thursday, 22 May 2008

mari kita berfikiran positif

I just got confirmation from my customer that he will be taking leave in June for a month and not allow me to be out of Doha during his leave, unless if there is someone to replace me. Huh. Most likely I have to cancel my Helsinki trip. too bad.
Actually, i should plant positive mind. I should say, someone is going to replace me on that day, i'll be able to be out of hot weather for a week :P
Repetitive self-suggestion can help to successfully instill in you positive thoughts. Let's see how true it is :P

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

back and Updated!!

Hello readers.. hehe

I'm back. "once you go black, u never go back" idiom is only a myth, but "once u blog, u never stop" probably the right idiom for now. I guess, only a few keeps on refreshing my page to see anything new here. Oh, if you have google reader, it will update you automatically. For the past one week, I have a lot of sleepless night. The alarm from my server wakes me up almost everyday at 2.00. It annoys me but I have no choice. The first thing I would do, shutting down the alarm, and restart the running application. I had no idea what kind of ghost sneaking into my territory now. It has been running well for the past 1 ½ years, and suddenly it rings the bell. “hello, I’m dying”.

If it happens to be your java program takes the highest load, I could tell you now, how to point the location of the problematic code. It happened to be our third party code, most probably that company no longer exist. Shit, those “white trash” shot me back in the email and asking more analysis. Ok I have been snooping all angle now, hopefully I could see something there. In proper way, I asked them to find a way to check the code. Reviewing the code to find the leak isn’t an easy job. The guy supposed to help me still on vacation, perhaps next Monday I could ring him. I’ve got to settle this, else the probability that they gonna cancel my training quite high. If thing goes well, I’ll be flying to Helsinki for a week. Sad to say, this time, I’ve got to leave mel alone in Doha. No worries dear, I will bring you to your dream place this year. InshaAllah.

Enough about the job :-)

I still miss my day back home. I was happy to meet up with my families. On Zai’s wedding day, I didn’t realize that my family came. I was busy talking to my friend’s mom, and suddenly I noticed umie was sitting there as well. Then I found out all my families conquering the back seat already enjoying their meal, and never to bother who was around. HaHa. Grik came and conquer. Who cares anyway. They are my family :P

Then a few of my friends came at the last hour. Thanks to Mohen, Munir, Jeri, Mon, Nyace, Hemsem, Tip and own. The rest just gave a deceive reasons not to turn up. I managed to meet Pit later, and siput all the time over the phone only. Iym SMS me to come to her house, but I just had 2 weeks only. 1 week off to Grik, so I had to spend it wisely. I had a two day trips to Penang via Sg Petani, to meet up with eldest nephew. He changed. Physically HeHe. I bought some stuff for him as promised before. Long overdue UPSR gift.

Kakak’s engagement day was tiring. I guess we are growing old, and we tend to forget the “gotong royong” spirit. So majority decided to get caterer for wedding. I guess we are not going to spend much; ladies will be getting money anyway HaHaHa. It is everyone dream to get married, but not everybody wants it in the best splendid event. As for me, it depends how much you have. I recalled my day, it was simple, but the most important thing was to feed all the invitees. To be frank, I didn’t have much money, I collected every single ringgit they put into my pocket. I opened all unopened ang pow to survive. I still remember on my wedding day, Mak Teh gave me 50 bucks like giving me life on that day. Then I owed RM1K each from my 3 closest cousins, then paid them back on their time. A few months after married, mel asked me “kenapa tiap2 bulan kena pergi Citibank bayar hutang.” During honeymoon year, of course I wouldn’t reveal everything and she found out later that I had a bad debt with Citibank. She helped me to close one ;-). Thanks to her good pay in Shell before. Anyway, having a bad debt with credit card basically taught me a good lesson. I do have credit card to serve my needs but neither gold nor platinum. Eh apa cerita lah ni, dari kisah tunang sampai cerita hutang kredit card.

I added a new tag into my google reader. This blog belongs to Kerajaan Negeri Selangor. No no no. It belongs to my uncle. He wrote a couple of entries, and the latest one about Rafidah Aziz in making ;-). All her children have grown up and I still remember the day I used to “stop over” before heading back to Mara Language Academy or MMU in Malacca. There is no direct bus from Grik to Malacca anyway :P. Stopping over was good because at least I would get RM50 to chip in into my pocket HaHa. I guess my cousin Jem also used to do the same thing. Indeed we were scared of him. He had fierce face but he has a big heart for families. (50 ringgit sekeping!!)

What happens to Malaysia politic now? Tun Mahathir quit UMNO, Pak Lah will not back off, some expert says this will hasten rise of Anwar to become PM. Or will he becoming PM in waiting forever? My only concern, please accommodate Rakyat with jobs, don’t increase tax, toll, gas, and fuel. I’m not inclining myself to any political party but I do believe in check and balance system. Majority of Malaysian muslims will be very happy, if UMNO + PAS could work together and believe that “Islam is the way of life”. Islam never oppressed Muslim or non-muslim.