Dr M: What I said about lost land was to put Pulau Batu Puteh issue in perspective

PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has clarified that he did not say Malaysia should reclaim the lands it had lost.

"I was just pointing out that we are concerned over losing a table-sized rock but not about bigger parts of Malaysia when they were taken from us," he said in a statement on Thursday (June 23).

Saying his earlier statement had been taken out of context, the 96-year-old former prime minister said losing Pulau Batu Puteh was not a big deal.

ALSO READ: MB: Johor to take legal action if negligence reason for losing island

"It was the mistake of the Johor government to deny that the rock belonged to the state.

"If the denial had not been made, there would be no dispute now.

"We should be grateful that the World Court awarded Pulau Ligitan and Sipadan to us which are much more valuable than Pulau Batu Puteh, (which is) just a rock outcrop," he added.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysia should be thankful that Indonesia has not disputed the award.

"Really, we are not grateful for our gains," he added.

Dr Mahathir, who spoke at a congress on Sunday (June 19), was quoted as suggesting that Riau and Singapore should be reclaimed as they were historically "Malay lands".

"We should demand not just that Pedra Branca or Pulau Batu Puteh be given back to us, we should also demand Singapore as well as the Riau Islands, as they are 'Tanah Melayu'," he was reported to have said.

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