Final report on Pulau Batu Puteh, Batuan Tengah, Tubir Selatan to be presented to Cabinet soon

The govt is committed to the decision to ensure the country’s sovereignty is prioritised and upheld, says Wan Junaidi


THE final report on the review of the legal issues regarding Pulau Batu Puteh, Batuan Tengah and Tubir Selatan will be tabled before the Cabinet ministers for consideration soon.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said he had chaired the meeting between the monitoring committee and the special task force that were formed to assess the issues surrounding the sovereignty of the three islands.

Both parties have proposed the best options and the way forward for the government with regards to the case within six months.

“The government is committed to the decision to ensure the country’s sovereignty is prioritised and upheld. The task force prepared an interim report which was presented to the minister on April 25, 2022,” he said in a statement yesterday.

To date, the task force has had 12 meetings involving several with the small committees involved in the case such as legal aspects, Tort of Misfeasance and Malaysia-Singapore ties.

“The monitoring committee took note of the interim report presented by the task force and also provided inputs for improvement.

“The final report will be prepared and tabled soon for consideration of the Cabinet ministers to determine the next course of action,” he said.

The task force, formed last year to evaluate the legal issues on the three islands, is led by former Attorney General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali.

Other members include lawyers Datuk Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, Datuk Dr Baljit Singh Sidhu, Datuk Abu Bakar As-Sidek Mohd Sidek and Datuk Tengku Ahmad Fuad Tengku Ahmad Burhanuddin; Malaysia’s former ambassador to the Hague Datuk Ahmad Nazri Yusof; Johor state government representative Datuk Mohammed Ridha Abd Kadir; Survey and Mapping Department representative Sr Hamdan Ab Aziz; and Foreign Ministry representative Shaharudin Onn.

In 2008, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had decided that Pulau Batu Puteh belongs to Singapore, Batuan Tengah to Malaysia and Tubir Selatan to the state in the territorial waters of which it is located. In June 2017, Malaysia applied to the ICJ for an interpretation of the judgement.

During Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s tenure, he withdrew the application to review the ICJ’s decision to award the sovereignty of Pulau Batu Puteh to Singapore.

In January, the Kuala Lumpur High Court granted the government’s application for a protection order, to disable public access to the documents in a suit over the sovereignty of Pulau Batu Puteh.