JOHOR BARU, Jan 26 — Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar was today briefed by the special task force tasked with reviewing the law of the sovereignty case involving Pulau Batu Puteh (also known as Pedra Branca), Middle Rocks and South Ledge.
He received three federal ministers who made up the special task force, at the Balai Mengadap in Istana Bukit Serene here.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (legal and institutional reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said and Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir then presented the latest report to Sultan Ibrahim, followed by a two-hour meeting with the sultan.
Also present was Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi and Johor State Secretary Tan Sri Azmi Rohani.
Sultan Ibrahim later hosted a luncheon for the ministers.
Last month, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was reported to have said that the Cabinet had agreed that Malaysia’s claim on Pulau Batu Puteh should be reviewed.
In October last year, the final report on the sovereignty of Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge by a special task force has been tabled to the Cabinet.
The then Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said that the report has been prepared by the special task force in a period of nine months starting from November 9, 2021 until August 30, 2022.
He added that the government had examined and finalised several next steps that would be implemented in order to restore the dignity and sovereignty of the country in relation to the isles, especially involving the maritime demarcation issue of Malaysia and Singapore.
In 2008, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Pulau Batu Puteh belonged to Singapore, while sovereignty over the nearby Middle Rocks was awarded to Malaysia.
The Malaysian government then filed an application in 2017 for a review of the ICJ decision.
In 2018, the Pakatan Harapan government withdrew an application to overturn the ruling awarding legal jurisdiction of Pulau Batu Puteh to Singapore before the hearing of the case, which was scheduled for June 11 that year.