Saturday, February 4, 2017

China tells Najib to secure Pedra Branca in order to extend the Nine Dash Line;Singapore left wondering why it bothered with its 1MDB cover-up

by Ganesh Sahathevan

China's Nine Dash Line

In December 2010 Malaysia and Singapore issued the following statement, in which Malaysia effectively assured Singapore that the matter of Pedra Branca was all in the past:

Malaysia and Singapore have signed a memorandum of understanding with regard to the joint hydrographic survey in and around Pulau Batu Puteh or known here as Pedra Branca, and Middle Rocks.

The memorandum was reached after top officials of the two neighbouring countries met during the 5th Meeting of the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Technical Committee (MSJTC) on the implementation of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Judgement on Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge, here early this week.

According to a joint statement by Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and his Singapore counterpart George Yeo released by their respective foreign ministries Thursday, both countries reiterated their commitment to honour and abide by the ICJ's judgment and fully implement its decision.

There has been no indication whatsoever in the past seven years that things had changed,until last Friday, 3 February 2017, when  Malaysia's Attorney General Appandi declared that some recently discovered documents suggest that Pedra Branca was between 1958 and 1960 subject to some form of British administration, and that " officials at the highest levels in the British colonial and Singaporean administration appreciated that Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh did not form part of Singapore's sovereign territory' during the relevant period".

Appandi then goes on to declare"that the Court would have been bound to reach a different conclusion on the question of sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh had it been aware of this new evidence."

However, even a schoolboy reading the summary of the ICJ's judgement on the Malaysian Ministry Of Foreign Affairs website will see that these matters had been dealt with.This paragraph provides an example:

As for Singapore’s claim that the flying of the British and Singapore ensigns from Horsburgh lighthouse from the time of its commissioning to this day is also a clear display of sovereignty, the Court states that the flying of an ensign is not in the usual case a manifestation of sovereignty. It considers that some weight may nevertheless be given to the fact that Malaysia did not protest against the ensign flying at Horsburgh lighthouse.

The ICJ decision was based on a number of other factors that have not been challenged, and these primarily concern Malaysia's decision to do nothing, which led the Court to this conclusion:

The Court is of the opinion that the relevant facts, including the conduct of the Parties, reflect a convergent evolution of the positions of the Parties regarding title to Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh. 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 sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh had passed to Singapore.

For the foregoing reasons, the Court concludes that sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh belongs to Singapore.

These facts were , by 2010, accepted as conclusive by Malaysia hence the joint declaration of December 2010. The Najib administration was keen to show the Singaporeans that the Pedra Branca matter was something that belonged to the Mahathir era, and that he , Najib, was nothing like Mahathir.There was much talk of a new beginning,and of mutual seemingly borderless movement between the two countries

Clearly, something has changed in the past few months and that "something" does seem to be Najib's increasing dependency on China. For China, control over Pedra Branca via Malaysia, which is evolving into a Chinese proxy in the South China Sea, would represent a south westerly extension of the territory it claims, and give it completecontrol over the Singapore-East Asia sea lane.

This writer has on many times suggested that Singapore was surpressing information
its regulatory bodies have gathered on Najb's 1 MDB theft in order to further its national interest. The Singaporeans must now be wondering if it was all worth the trouble.


No comments:

Post a Comment