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Transcript of Remarks On Pedra Branca by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Prof S Jayakumar inParliament, 16 May 2002

16 May 2002

Transcript of Remarks On Pedra Branca by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Prof S Jayakumar inParliament, 16 May 2002

It has been some years since the subject came up last. Let me refresh your memories my saying that Pedra Branca is part of Singapore's territory. The Singapore Government and its predecessors have occupied and exercised full sovereignty over Pedra Branca and the waters around it for more than 150 years since the 1840s.

Our ownership and sovereignty over Pedra Branca has never been challenged by another country. Even Malaysia had continuously and consistently recognised Singapore's sovereignty over Pedra Branca for more than 130 years until it contested Singapore's ownership of the island in 1979.

Yes, I have noted that some Malaysian politicians have said that the case on Pedra Branca is already before the International Court of Justice, that they want to expedite or accelerate the hearing of it.

The actual current position is that both Malaysia and Singapore have agreed in April 1998 on referring the case to the International Court of Justice. But the case has not yet been submitted to the Court because there is a certain procedure that Malaysia and Singapore must follow in order to do so. The procedure was spelled out in 1998, when Singapore and Malaysian senior officials reached the agreement on the text of a draft Special Agreement to refer Malaysia's claim to the ICJ.

But that Agreement is subject to procedural requirements such as formal ratification and only when that is done can the case be submitted to the ICJ.

We will proceed to the ICJ when the Malaysians are ready.