RCI chairman presents Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks, South Ledge report to King

Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar's Facebook picture.

KUALA LUMPUR: The latest report from the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to study the sovereignty issues over Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks, and South Ledge was presented to the His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia.

A post on Sultan Ibrahim's Facebook page stated that the report was presented by RCI chairman, Tun Md Raus Sharif, to His Majesty at Istana Negara on Tuesday (June 18) during an audience lasting nearly an hour.

In February, the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister's Department announced that Sultan Ibrahim had consented to the immediate establishment of the commission.

The RCI's formation was carried out under the Commissions of Enquiry Act 1950 [Act 119].

On May 23, 2008, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Singapore has sovereignty over Batu Puteh, while Middle Rocks, located less than one kilometre away, belongs to Malaysia.

The ICJ also ruled that ownership rights over South Ledge, approximately four kilometres from Batu Puteh, would be determined according to the maritime boundaries of the controlling country.

On Feb 2, 2017, Malaysia applied for a review of the ICJ's decision of May 23, 2008. However, in May 2018, the Pakatan Harapan government under Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad withdrew the application just two weeks before the scheduled hearing on June 11, 2018.

On Feb 27, Minister in Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reforms) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the establishment of the RCI was aimed at finding a resolution and moving forward with improvements regarding issues involving national sovereignty, rather than assigning blame to any party.

She emphasised that Malaysians, especially in Johor, deserve an explanation of the reasons and factors behind the decision not to pursue the Application for Review and Request for Interpretation at the ICJ concerning the sovereignty over Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks, and South Ledge.

On June 12, Dr. Mahathir provided testimony during the closed-door proceedings of the RCI. - Bernama

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