GENTING HIGHLANDS (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian Chinese Association supports the government's move to challenge the International Court of Justice (ICJ)'s decision to award sovereignty of Pulau Batu Puteh to Singapore, said party chief Liow Tiong Lai.
Pulau Batu Puteh, better known in Singapore as Pedra Branca, is some 40km east of Singapore at the eastern entrance of the Singapore Strait. Britain, and later, Singapore, has maintained control over the island since the 1850s.
Malaysia staked its claim to the island in a 1979 map. The dispute saw both neighbours refer the case to the ICJ, which is based in the Hague, in 2003.
The court found in 2008, that sovereignty over Pedra Branca belongs to Singapore, sovereignty over Middle Rocks belongs to Malaysia and sovereignty over South Ledge belongs to the state in the territorial waters of which it is located.
Malaysia has cited three documents recently declassified by Britain to support its application for a revision of the ICJ ruling.
Liow, who is also Malaysia's transport minister, said on Saturday (Feb 4) it has been Malaysians' hope to see the islands returned to the country.
"New proof is coming in to show that Pulau Batu Puteh belongs to Malaysia and we want to claim back our island," he told reporters after attending the Genting Group's annual Chinese New Year open house at the Genting International Convention Centre.
The ICJ in a press release on Friday said Malaysia had cited three documents recently declassified by the United Kingdom to support its application.
They include: internal correspondence of the Singapore colonial authorities in 1958, an incident report filed in 1958 by a British naval officer, and an annotated map of naval operations from the 1960s.
The documents were discovered in the UK National Archives between Aug 4, 2016 and Jan 30, 2017, the ICJ press release added.
A spokesman for Singapore's Foreign Ministry said on Friday that it was studying Malaysia's application and documentation closely, and had formed a legal team to respond to it.