pedra branca… strive for our sovereignty, but…

SINGAPORE: Malaysia and Singapore will accept the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague over the ownership of Pulau Batu Putih in the Johor Straits.

Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo and his Malaysian counterpart Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said both nations would accept the decision.

“We both agreed that if Malaysia were to win, Singapore would congratulate Malaysia, and if Singapore were to win, Malaysia would congratulate Singapore,” Yeo said after Rais called on him at his office.

Rais, on an introductory visit to Singapore after his appointment as foreign minister, had earlier met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana.

Yeo said the judgment on Pedra Banca (as Singaporeans call Pulau Batu Putih) would likely be made by the ICJ next month and the outcome would not affect bilateral relations.

“Nothing should change,” Yeo said, adding that this was the position that both countries had agreed to take.

He said the lighthouse would continue to provide facilities to all navigators.

Both countries had made claims on the rocky outcrops which had been developed into a lighthouse for sea route navigation in the straits during the colonial era.

This had strained ties until both sides agreed that the matter should be referred to the ICJ. — Bernama (18/4/2008)

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