Johor Ruler receives latest report from special task force on Batu Puteh

JOHOR BARU: Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar has received the latest report from the special task force on the sovereignty of Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge.

His Majesty accepted the audience of three federal ministers at Balai Mengadap in Istana Bukit Serene here on Thursday (Jan 26).

The ministers are Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reforms) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said and Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir.

The meeting with Sultan Ibrahim lasted for almost two hours, according to a statement posted on Sultan Ibrahim’s official Facebook page.

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi and Johor state secretary Tan Sri Dr Azmi Rohani were also present.

After the meeting, Sultan Ibrahim personally drove to visit flood victims seeking shelter in temporary flood relief centres at Dewan Muafakat Taman Desaru Utama and SK Bandar Penawar in Kota Tinggi.

His Majesty also presented donations from Yayasan Sultan Ibrahim Johor (YSIJ).

During the visit, Sultan Ibrahim, who was accompanied by Tunku Putera Johor Tunku Abu Bakar Al-Haj Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, also gave words of encouragement to the flood victims, as well as advising them to always be careful due to the unpredictable weather conditions.

His Majesty was earlier presented with the latest report on the flood situation as well as the basic facilities provided at the relief centres by Kota Tinggi district officer Datin Paduka Hazlina Jalil.

Last month, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the Attorney General had been instructed to review matters pertaining to Batu Puteh claims so that it will not jeopardise bilateral relations between Malaysia and Singapore.

He said the review was also to ensure any negotiations with Singapore on Batu Puteh would yield fruitful results.

On Oct 13 last year, then prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said his Cabinet was informed of the possibility of negligence and mistakes made by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when withdrawing an application to review the ICJ’s decision on Batu Puteh claims.

In 2008, the ICJ ruled that Pedra Branca (Batu Puteh) belonged to Singapore, while the sovereignty over the nearby Middle Rocks (Batuan Tengah) was awarded to Malaysia.

The Malaysian Government filed an application in 2017 for a review of the ICJ decision to award legal jurisdiction of Batu Puteh to Singapore.

In 2018, the then Pakatan Harapan government withdrew the application before the case was heard, scheduled for June 11 that year.

Dr Mahathir, who led the Pakatan administration when the application was withdrawn, said the decision to withdraw the application for a review of the ICJ’s decision was based on the advice of former attorney general Tan Sri Apandi Ali.

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