JOHOR BARU - The Johor ruler has said he fully supports a move by the Malaysian government to seek a review of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision in 2008 to award Pedra Branca to Singapore.
Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar in an interview on Thursday with New Straits Times (NST) urged Johoreans to pray that the upcoming decision would be in favour of Johor. The interview was posted on the NST website on Friday (Nov 24).
Malaysia in February this year requested the ICJ to declare the waters surrounding Pedra Branca - which it calls Pulau Batu Puteh - to be Malaysian waters, citing new evidence from old documents to support its case.
"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.
"It is about the sovereignty of Johor. So, I support the Federal government under the leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Go for it," he said.
Sultan Iskandar said he is willing to allow Singapore to continue administering Pedra Branca, even if the court favoured Johor in its decision.
Malaysia's application concerned the court's 2008 ruling that said: First, Pedra Branca belongs to Singapore; second, Middle Rocks belongs to Malaysia; and third, South Ledge belongs "to the state in the territorial waters of which it is located".
The Johor ruler said, as quoted by NST: "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.
"But I have never spoken to the Singapore prime minister about sensitive issues. Such things should be between the two governments.
"If the International Court of Justice 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 the arrangement on Pulau Pisang, where the lighthouse is administered by Singapore though the island belongs to Malaysia.
Pulau Pisang is located in the Malacca Strait off Kukup town in western Johor.
Singapore has filed a "comprehensive rebuttal" to Malaysia's request for the ICJ review.