Remarks on misplaced land have been to place Pedra Branca into perspective: Dr Mahathir, Latest Singapore News
PETALING JAYA – Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad clarified on Thursday (June 23) that he was not asking for Malaysia to reclaim lands it had misplaced, together with Singapore.
He stated his remarks on Sunday have been to place the lack of Pedra Branca, also referred to as Pulau Batu Puteh in Malaysia, into perspective.
“I was just pointing out that we are concerned over losing a table-sized rock but not about bigger parts of Malaysia when they were taken from us,” he stated in a press release, including that his feedback on Sunday had been taken out of context.
The 96-year-old stated shedding Pedra Branca was not a giant deal.
“It was the error of the Johor authorities to disclaim that the rock belonged to the state.
“If the denial had not been made, there could be no dispute now.
“We should be grateful that the World Court awarded Pulau Ligitan and Sipadan to us which are much more valuable than Pulau Batu Puteh, (which is) just a rock outcrop,” he added.
Dr Mahathir stated Malaysia ought to be grateful that Indonesia has not disputed the award.
“Really, we are not grateful for our gains,” he added.
Dr Mahathir had spoken at a congress on Sunday and was quoted as suggesting that the Riau islands and Singapore ought to be reclaimed as they have been traditionally “Malay lands”.
“We should demand not just that Pedra Branca or Pulau Batu Puteh be given back to us, we should also demand Singapore as well as the Riau Islands, as they are ‘Tanah Melayu’,” he was reported to have stated.
Known for his controversial remarks, Dr Mahathir had been talking at an occasion in Selangor organised by a number of non-governmental organisations below the banner Kongres Survival Melayu (Congress for Malay Survival) and titled Aku Melayu: Survival Bermula (I’m Malay: Survival Begins).
In his opening speech, which was live-streamed on social media, Dr Mahathir, who’s MP for Langkawi, stated that what was often known as Tanah Melayu was in depth, stretching from the Isthmus of Kra in southern Thailand all the way in which to the Riau Islands, and Singapore, however is now confined to the Malay Peninsula.
In 2002, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had dominated that Sipadan and Ligitan belonged to Malaysia and never Indonesia.
In 2008, the ICJ dominated that Pedra Branca belonged to Singapore, whereas sovereignty over the close by Middle Rocks was awarded to Malaysia.
In 2017, Malaysia utilized to the ICJ to revise this judgement. But in May 2018, after Dr Mahathir turned prime minister once more, Malaysia introduced that it will discontinue the proceedings.