PM: Malaysia trying to iron things out with Singapore

PETALING JAYA: Differences between Malaysia and Singapore over their maritime boundaries will be addressed based on legal provisions and rights, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said Malaysia is trying to iron things out with Singapore in light of disagreement over the Declaration of Alteration of Port Limits for the Johor Baru Port.

“We need to settle these disputes based on legal provisions and our rights,” he said after a meeting with Pakatan Harapan leaders yesterday.

On Friday, Singapore said it did not agree with Malaysia’s proposal to cease and desist sending assets to the disputed area, insisting that Malaysia had repeatedly encroached into Singapore waters.

In Johor Baru, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said any issue should be resolved at the negotiation table.

He pointed out that both countries had gone through “hiccups” in the past.

“I have been following the Singapore minister’s statements for this to be resolved amicably. That is a good move,” he said.

Muhyiddin said the Cabinet viewed the matter seriously and the ministers concerned had been directed to do what was necessary.

Muhyiddin, who is Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president, was speaking to reporters after opening the Johor Bersatu state convention yesterday.

On Thursday, Singapore announced that it had extended its port limits off Tuas, in view of the “provocative developments” and said that it would not hesitate to take firm action against intrusions by Malaysian vessels in its waters.

These intrusions, they claimed, came after Malaysia extended its Johor Port limits on Oct 25, encroaching into Singapore waters off Tuas.

On Friday, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, however, said the government had proposed for both Malaysia and Singapore to stop sending assets into the disputed area in the Johor Strait pending discussions on outstanding maritime boundary issues.

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