It is very sad that
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
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
-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
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
The Court turns next to the legal status of Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh after the 1840s to determine whether
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
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
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communications equipment on the island in 1977, and the proposed reclamation plans by
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
⎯ Sovereignty over Middle Rocks and South Ledge
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
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.