Pakatan govt failed to defend nation's sovereignty over Pulau Batu Puteh claim, says Umno veep

JOHOR BARU: The Pakatan Harapan government should be held accountable for failing to defend Malaysia’s sovereignty over the claim on Pulau Batu Puteh, says a former Johor mentri besar.

Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin questioned the decision by the Pakatan administration not to appeal the ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) despite the availability of new documents on Pulau Batu Puteh.

“All documents clearly showed that Pulau Batu Puteh is not located within Singapore’s region," he said in a Facebook post on Friday (Oct 22).

The Umno vice-president said the first document showed that a high-ranking Singaporean officer never acknowledged that the island was part of Singapore.

He said the British Navy in the second document certified that Pulau Batu Puteh, Batuan Tengah (Middle Rocks) and Tubir Selatan (South Ledge) were within Johor’s region and waters.

Mohamed Khaled said in the third document, navigational maps by the British Navy showed that Singapore’s region did not include Pulau Batu Puteh.

“The real question is why Pakatan Harapan did not want to proceed with the judicial review of the case despite having new documents on the matter," he said.

Mohamed Khaled added that while the decision by the ICJ cannot be appealed, the Malaysian government had submitted an application for review in February 2017.

He said the government had also submitted for the ICJ to interpret its judgment in 2008 on Pulau Batu Puteh, Batuan Tengah and Tubir Selatan.

“ICJ had agreed to listen to the submission by Malaysia and given the hearing date," he added.

He also wanted to know the identities of the group of international lawyers who had advised former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the issue and what advice was given to him in the context of the new evidence.

On Oct 20, Dr Mahathir took to his blog to defend the decision by the former Pakatan administration to drop the review application in the Pulau Batu Puteh case.

"Final is final. If a country does not honour its promises, no nation will respect it, no nation will enter into an agreement with that country concerned," he added.

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