Observers stress need to de-escalate dispute urgently

Part of the Johor Baru port, as seen from Tuas. Following Malaysia's extension of its Johor Baru port limits and vessel intrusions into Singapore waters, the Republic decided to extend its own port limits off Tuas.
Part of the Johor Baru port, as seen from Tuas. Following Malaysia's extension of its Johor Baru port limits and vessel intrusions into Singapore waters, the Republic decided to extend its own port limits off Tuas.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The dispute over territorial waters between Singapore and Malaysia needs to be de-escalated urgently, observers said yesterday, as growing tensions could reduce shipping traffic and international trade.

Meanwhile, Singapore can be expected to increase its naval presence in the waters off Tuas to stop the incursions by Malaysian government vessels altogether and protect its maritime sovereignty, they added.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2018, with the headline 'Observers stress need to de-escalate dispute urgently'. Print Edition | Subscribe