Nations to meet soon to resolve boundary row

  • Nation
  • Monday, 10 Dec 2018

Toll charges for vehicles using the Woodlands Checkpoint, except motorcycles, will be cut or removed from Feb 1, 2018. - The Straits Times/ANN

PETALING JAYA: A meeting with Singapore will take place soon to resolve the maritime and airspace boundary disputes, says Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

“Both countries agreed we should negotiate these issues for the sake of maintaining good ties.

“We will do the needful to settle the dispute without compromising our sovereignty,” he said.

The location of the meeting, he said, would be decided later.

“The ministry had been in contact with the Singapore High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur. We have sent three protest notes through the High Commissioner last week and we will continue engaging with them,” said Saifuddin.

The dispute started with the declaration by Malaysia, published in the Federal Gazette, of an alteration to the Johor Baru port limits on Oct 25.

Singapore protested the move, claiming it was done unilaterally.

On Friday, Malaysia sent Singapore a diplomatic note, proposing both sides to “cease and desist” sending assets to the disputed area, pending discussions on outstanding maritime boundary issues.

Later that night, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected the proposal and called on Malaysian vessels to leave the area.

At the same time, Malaysia announced that it would not allow Singapore to implement the Instrument Landing System (ILS) and ILS Approach Procedures for Seletar Airport.

Malaysia also wanted to reclaim its airspace in phases, which is managed by Singapore since 1974 under the Operational Letter of Agreements between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore Area Control Centres Concerning Singapore Arrivals, Departures and Overflight (LOA 1974).

International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking said Singapore should take heed of the offer made by Malaysia (for both countries to cease and desist).

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