Ministers granted audience with Johor Ruler over Pulau 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.

According to a statement posted on Sultan Ibrahim’s official Facebook page, His Majesty accepted the audience of three federal ministers at Balai Mengadap in Istana Bukit Serene here on Thursday.

The ministers were 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 the statement.

Also present were Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi and Johor State Secretary Tan Sri Dr Azmi Rohani.

After the meeting with the three ministers, Sultan Ibrahim visited 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) in the form of biscuits, colour pencils, colouring books, toothpaste, shampoo, toothbrushes and towels.

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 and advised them to always be careful due to the unpredictable weather conditions.

Last month, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the Attorney General (AG) had been instructed to review matters pertaining to Batu Puteh claims so that they would 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.

In 2008, the International Court of Justice (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’s decision to award legal jurisdiction over Batu Puteh to Singapore.

In 2018, the Pakatan Harapan government withdrew the application before the case was heard on June 11 of that year.

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