Johor Sultan backs call to review Pedra Branca case

JOHOR BARU • The Johor ruler has said he fully supports the Malaysian government's move to seek a review of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision in 2008 to award Pedra Branca to Singapore.

"It is about the sovereignty of Johor. So I support the federal government under the leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Go for it," Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar said in an interview on Thursday with New Straits Times (NST) group.

Malaysia in February applied to the ICJ to review its ruling, citing newly discovered documents on Pedra Branca - which it calls Pulau Batu Puteh - to support its case.

In June, it filed a separate bid for the ICJ to interpret its ruling.

Singapore last month filed a "comprehensive rebuttal" to Malaysia's request for the ICJ review.

Sultan Iskandar said: "What we want is something that we have held on to all this while, which is about Johor saying that Pulau Batu Puteh is (part of) Johor."

He added that he is willing to allow Singapore to continue administering Pedra Branca, even if the court favoured Johor in its decision.

NST quoted him as saying: "Ties between Johor and Singapore are very good, and I am very close to the Singaporean Prime Minister. Our strong ties run way back. We are friends and neighbours."

He added: "If the ICJ decides in Johor's favour, Johor could still cooperate with Singapore to administer the Horsburgh lighthouse (on Pedra Branca). It is not a problem for me."

Sultan Iskandar referred to Pulau Pisang, where the island's lighthouse is administered by Singapore though the island in the Malacca Strait belongs to Malaysia.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2017, with the headline 'Johor Sultan backs call to review Pedra Branca case'. Print Edition | Subscribe