KUANTAN: Malaysia has filed a legal bid for the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) 2008 landmark judgment over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh to be interpreted to mean that the disputed isle belongs to Malaysia.
In a media release issued today, Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali said that Malaysia filed the application with the ICJ for the interpretation, which not only covers the sovereignty of Pedra Branca but also that of Middle Rocks and South Ledge.
On May 23, 2008, ICJ ruled in favour of Singapore of having sovereignty over the disputed isles.
Apandi said the legal application was made under Article 60 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice due to the dispute between Malaysia and Singapore on the interpretation of the ruling.
Having formed a technical committee on how to implement the ruling, both countries were unable to agree on implementation, especially in the delimitation of the maritime boundaries between Singapore and Malaysia surrounding the disputed area.
Apandi said that in the period following the ruling, Malaysia and Singapore have issued a large number of official protests over incidents alleged to have happened on, over and around South Ledge, as well as in the waters surrounding Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh and the airspace above these waters.
"Given the high volume of aerial and maritime traffic in these areas, the need to achieve a viable solution of this dispute is pressing," he said.
He said Malaysia is seeking a declaration from ICJ that the waters surrounding Pedra Branca/ Pulau Batu Puteh remain within Malaysia's
territorial waters, and that South Ledge is located in its territorial waters, consequently putting South Ledge's sovereignty to Malaysia.
"Malaysia considers that it is necessary to request an interpretation of the 2008 judgment from the ICJ as it would serve as a basis for the maintenance of orderly and peaceful relations between the parties in the management of their maritime zones and airspace in the future," said Apandi.
He added that the application, filed on June 30, is separate from another ongoing legal bid filed on Feb 2 for a revision of the ruling.