JOHOR BARU, June 30 — Johor state legislative assembly speaker Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi has today offered to sue former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to the tune of RM3 billion for withdrawing an application to review the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision over the Pulau Batu Puteh dispute.
He said the dispute involving Pulau Batu Puteh touches on the dignity and sovereignty of Johor as well as the country.
"We can no longer afford to do anything. The appeal period is over and, as a lesson, Dr Mahathir must be sued and made to pay damages with an appropriate value of RM3 billion,” said Mohd Puad in a statement here.
Mohd Puad, who is also an Umno supreme council member, said Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi had earlier demanded that legal action be taken against the party responsible for the country to lose the island also known as Pedra Branca.
"Who is the traitor? Although he did not mention his name, everyone knows Dr Mahathir is the individual responsible.
"As a permanent lesson, Dr Mahathir must be sued and made to pay compensation where RM3 billion is the most appropriate [amount],” said Mohd Puad, who is also the Rengit assemblyman.
On June 26, Onn Hafiz called for legal action to be taken against PH leaders for alleged treason over the matter.
He was reported to have said that this was because the PH government had decided not to pursue the claim on Pulau Batu Puteh which not only left a bad precedent for the state and the country, but also recorded a dark moment in the country's history.
Earlier, on June 16, Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar expressed his disappointment with the Federal government's decision to cancel the appeal of the Batu Puteh claim in 2018.
Pulau Batu Puteh, or Pedra Branca as it is now known, was a disputed island claimed by Malaysia and Singapore since 1979, when Malaysia published a map indicating the island to be within the country’s territory.
This led to a nearly three-decade dispute with Singapore that was finally resolved when the island was ruled to be Singaporean territory by the International Court of Justice in 2008.
The court, however, refrained from awarding South Ledge, also to the south of Pedra Branca, to either Malaysia or Singapore.
However, during Barisan Nasional’s (BN) governance, then attorney-general Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali attempted to again stake a claim on the island by seeking a revision of the 2008 judgement in favour of Singapore.