Batu Puteh goes to Singapore
May 23, 08
The International Court of Justice has decided in favour of Singapore in a 28-year sovereignty dispute with Malaysia over Pulau Batu Puteh- a tiny but strategic uninhabited island the size of half a football field. This is a win-win situation where Singapore obtain the Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) and Malaysia obtained Middle Rock (Terumbu Karang Tengah) and South Ledge (Terumbu Karang Selatan).
The history: The island first appeared in navigational records as early as 1583. Dutch voyager Johann van Linschoten then recorded that Pedra Branca is " where ships that come and go to and from China pass in great danger and some are left upon it". The rock get their name from years of accumulated bird droppings which hardened upon the rock.
Operation of Lighthouse
The Lead counsel said that the purpose for the construction and operation of the light house was for naval navigation and safety instead of evidence of sovereignty. He further added that when the British built the light house, they had no intention of claiming the island but to form the Straits Light system at that time. The Malaysian team asserted that
The Lead counsel added that British activities on the light house were carried out as the operator of the light house, although
I think this is a good news for both country. Each country should use this island wisely.