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Oral argument by Ms Loretta Malintoppi, avocat à la Cour d'appel de Paris, member of the Rome Bar, Frere Cholmeley/Eversheds, Paris, 20 November 2007

20 Nov 2007

Ms MALINTOPPI: Thank you very much, Mr. President. 

THE ABSENCE OF COMPETING ACTIVITIES BY JOHOR AND MALAYSIA, THIRD STATE CONDUCT, THE ROLE OF THE CARTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL AND MALAYSIA'S RECOGNITION OF SINGAPORE'S SOVEREIGNTY 

1. Mr. President, Members of the Court, my intervention today will respond to the arguments raised by Malaysia in the first round presentation regarding the absence of Malaysian effectivités, third State conduct, the role of the cartographic materials in this case. I will conclude by briefly recalling a number of points regarding Malaysia's recognition of Singapore's sovereignty. 

A. The absence of competing activities by Johor and Malaysia 

2. As the Members of the Court will recall, in my first speech two weeks ago I pointed to a fundamental inconsistency in Malaysia's written pleadings: the fact that Malaysia relies on an original title possessed by the Sultan of Johor while at the same time it is at pains to show conduct said to represent sovereign activity relating to Pedra Branca (CR 2007/22, p. 38, para. 45).

3. Not surprisingly, a number of contradictions and double standards have also emerged from Malaysia's oral arguments. Perhaps the most striking inconsistency is Malaysia's overall approach in relation to its alleged acquisition of title. On the one hand, our distinguished opponents vigorously pleaded the existence of an immemorial title vesting in the native sultans. Sir Elihu Lauterpacht insisted that this is a case "of prior title", not of "competing effectivités" (CR 2007/26, p. 36, para. 1). On the other hand, counsel for Malaysia attempted to scrape the bottom of the barrel in search of some acts showing a modicum of display of sovereignty on the ground.  

4. In this part of my presentation, I will address, first, Malaysia's attempts to justify the lack of any competing activities on the disputed island and, second, the five episodes cited by Malaysia as conduct allegedly conferring its original title.  
 
5. As Mr. Bundy recalled just a minute ago, last Tuesday, Sir Elihu dismissed Singapore's statements that Johor and Malaysia never carried out any competing activities over Pedra Branca and related features as "meaningless verbiage" (CR 2007/24, p. 52, para. 58). Counsel's proposition was that, since Pedra Branca's surface is entirely occupied by the lighthouse and related installations built by Singapore, there was no scope for any competing activity by Malaysia.  
 
6. By arguing that no room was left on Pedra Branca for any Malaysian activities, as Mr. Bundy has shown, counsel put the accent on a key aspect of this case: the fact that Singapore has taken possession and made full use of the island. I would add that this was not done overnight, but over a period spanning over more than a century, it was not limited to the pure operation of a lighthouse, and it was done in the complete absence of any objection or opposition on the part of Johor or Malaysia.  
 
7. In any event, Pedra Branca's diminutive size and the fact that its surface had been taken up by the lighthouse and other facilities is hardly an excuse for the absence of any Johor or Malaysian competing activities. After all, Malaysia has repeatedly asserted that, in spite of its size, Pedra Branca was a well-known feature in the region, even at the time of the Sultan and the Temenggong of Johor. To quote Professor Kohen, "PBP . . . se trouvait au milieu d'un sultanat maritime et était utilisée par ses pilotes, par ses pêcheurs et par d'autres habitants depuis toujours" (CR 2007/25, p. 49, para. 42). So, if Pedra Branca was so well known and if such a great number of Johor subjects allegedly frequented its waters since time immemorial, why did Johor not carry out any activities on the island prior to the taking of possession by Great Britain?  
 
8. Why did Johor, and subsequently Malaysia, never adopt any laws or administrative regulations, whether in relation to fishing, territorial sea delimitation or any other matter, expressly referring to the island by its name? Surely, Pedra Branca's size could not have been an impediment to that. The ruler of Johor could also have treated Pedra Branca like he treated Pulau Pisang, irrespective of the two islands' comparative sizes. He could have issued a written grant giving Singapore the right to operate the lighthouse while reserving sovereignty for himself. As for Johor's successor State, Malaysia, it could also have issued a similar grant or, at a minimum, it could have asked Singapore to stop flying its ensign over Pedra Branca, like it did for Pulau Pisang. Malaysia could have insisted that its officials visiting Pedra Branca would go there freely, without the need to ask for Singapore's permission, as they do when they visit Pulau Pisang. Malaysia could also have investigated shipping accidents in the area of Pedra Branca and its waters, as Singapore did all along. But it only did so too late, in 2003, well after the critical date (CMS, pp. 160-168, paras. 4.159-4.178).  
 
9. Measuring Pedra Branca's size in relation to a soccer field may be an entertaining exercise in advocacy, but it does not detract from the fact that the Sultan of Johor manifested no intention, no interest whatsoever in the island prior to Great Britain's taking of possession in 1847-1851 or thereafter, and that Malaysia cannot avail itself of any official act evidencing either the intention to exercise jurisdiction on the island or any State functions over the island and related features. Had Johor or Malaysia considered Pedra Branca as falling under their sovereignty, they would not have sat and watched for over 130 years while first Britain, and then Singapore, took possession and carried out a variety of acts on the ground which expressly concerned the island. With the greatest respect, Mr. President, it is facile to dismiss all of this as "meaningless verbiage".  
 
B. The irrelevant episodes cited by Malaysia as conduct confirming its original title  
 
10. Having emphasized that this case is not about "competing effectivités", Malaysia then surprisingly proceeded to rely on what counsel characterized as "various examples" of conduct that are said to show that Malaysia "always regarded itself as the sovereign of the three features" (CR 2007/27, p. 12, paras. 2 and 3 (Schrijver)). In actual fact, Malaysia could only come up with a total of five episodes of so-called "conduct" on which it relies. Given that I have already discussed these episodes in my first round presentation, I will not dwell on them at length, but I will limit my comments to a response to Malaysia's first round presentation.  
 
1969 Continental Shelf Agreement between Indonesia and Malaysia  
 
11. The first example cited by counsel is the 1969 Continental Shelf Agreement between Indonesia and Malaysia. This agreement does not concern any of the disputed islands which are not mentioned anywhere in its text. The map appearing on the screen shows that Pedra Branca was not taken into account in the delimitation and that the resulting line stops short of Pedra Branca, clearly avoiding it. As you will see on the next slide, on the left is the map reproduced by Malaysia. This image is misleading, because it shows Pedra Branca within the delimitation line. The image on the right, which is carefully plotted, shows the actual situation. By not including the area around Pedra Branca, the parties to the Agreement recognized the fact that the island was not under the sovereignty of either one of them.  
 
The 1968 Petroleum Agreement between Malaysia and Continental Oil Company of Malaysia  
 
12. The second example referred to by Professor Schrijver is the 1968 Petroleum Agreement between Malaysia and Continental Oil Company. This Agreement is now promoted by Malaysia to the rank of "the granting of oil concessions", while in reality there was only one single concession and it was very short-lived. There is no oil licensing practice by the Parties in this case that has a bearing on the determination of sovereignty. Neither Pedra Branca, nor South Ledge nor Middle Rocks is mentioned anywhere in this Agreement, which was concluded without regard to the disputed island. Consequently, there was no reason for Singapore to protest.  
 
Commodore Thanabalasingham's "Letter of Promulgation"  
 
13. The third example in Professor Schrijver's modest collection is Commodore Thanabalasingham's "Letter of Promulgation" of 1968. This letter and attached chartlets are now upgraded by Malaysia to the rank of "issuing of maps" (CR 2007/27, p. 16, para. 16). Perhaps, the combination of the title "Letter of Promulgation" and the notion of the issuance of maps by Malaysia is intended to give greater weight to these documents.  
 
14. However, the fact remains that these were internal confidential documents and, while Professor Schrijver did mention Singapore's arguments in this respect, not only did he not actually respond to them, but he went as far as stating that the 1968 letter "bears evidence of Malaysia displaying its sovereignty" over the disputed island (CR 2007/27, p. 17, para. 21). Mr. President, this letter and its attachments are hardly worthy of being described as a "display of sovereignty" over Pedra Branca. They were not open and they were not directed to the territory in dispute. Needless to say, Rear-Admiral Thanabalasingham's visit to Pedra Branca in 1962 also hardly represents evidence of animus and corpus to act as sovereign. As Professor Crawford noted, this was "not anything like an official visit" and lasted "only for a short time" (CR 2007/26, p. 62, para. 24). Further, as I recalled in the first round (CR 2007/22, p. 40, para. 10), this letter is inconsistent with the conduct of Malaysia. Because in the same year when the letter was written, 1968, Malaysia demanded the lowering of the ensign on the Pulau Pisang lighthouse, while no similar request was made in relation to Pedra Branca. Professor Schrijver chose not to address this point.  
 
The 1969 Territorial Sea Ordinance  
 
15. The fourth element cited by Malaysia was the 1969 Territorial Sea Ordinance. This legislation was evoked by the distinguished Agent for Malaysia last Tuesday (CR 2007/24, p. 16, para. 34 (Kadir)) and by Professor Schrijver on Friday (CR 2007/27, pp. 17-18, paras. 22-24). However, Malaysia's arguments do not change the fact that the Ordinance does not mention Pedra Branca and its related features at all. The relevant provision, Section 3 (1), is in your folder at tab 28. As you will see, the Ordinance simply refers to "the breadth of the territorial waters of Malaysia". There is no mention of the base points or the territory from which the territorial sea would be measured, and certainly no mention of Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks or South Ledge. The Ordinance thus begs the question of sovereignty entirely. 

16. Malaysia asserted in its Counter-Memorial that this legislation "included waters around PBP" (CMM, p. 263, para. 555) and that, "[c]learly in defining its territorial sea Malaysia conceived that PBP fell within it, that it was not Singapore's territory" (ibid.). For his part, Professor Schrijver stated that the "sole conclusion that can be logically deduced" from this Ordinance is that Pedra Branca "was . . . not part of Singapore's territory" (CR 2007/27, p. 18, para. 24). However, Malaysia's contentions do not logically follow because the Ordinance does not specify the coast from which the territorial sea is measured. The fact of the matter is that the 1969 Ordinance bears no relation to sovereignty over Pedra Branca, does not refer to the island, and is irrelevant for the present case. 

Alleged fishing by Johor fishermen and alleged policing of waters 

17. The fifth and final element of conduct on which Malaysia relies concerns alleged fishing by Johor fishermen and policing of waters. Professor Schrijver referred to this part of his presentation as "Fisheries regulations and policing". In actual fact, this nomenclature is inaccurate and misleading. As I explained during the first round, the isolated episodes evoked in the affidavits of Johor fishermen, produced by Malaysia with its written pleadings, refer to private and sporadic activities and have nothing to do with sovereign title. There is no evidence of the regulation of fishing activities by Malaysia, and consequently there is no display of sovereign authority. In sum, private acts do not constitute conduct à titre de souverain, and no useful conclusions can be drawn from these statements other than noting the rather desperate lengths to which Malaysia has been forced to go to conjure up effectivités. 

18. As to the alleged policing of waters in the vicinity of Pedra Branca, the documentary evidence produced by Malaysia does not constitute evidence of patrolling that is related specifically to Pedra Branca. Moreover, as Singapore discussed in its first round presentation, the coastal defence of the Parties was conducted jointly for several years and Malaysian vessels were based in Singapore until 1997. Even assuming that Malaysian ships may have occasionally transited in the area of Pedra Branca, the evidence put forward by Malaysia shows no relation between these activities and sovereignty over the disputed features. 

C. Rebuttal of Malaysia's arguments on third State practice 

19. In Malaysia's first round presentation, Professor Schrijver argued that third parties "have never recognized Singapore's sovereignty over the islands" (CR 2007/27, p. 12, para. 2). Notably, he did not go as far as asserting that third States ever recognized Malaysia's sovereignty over the islands, which of course they did not. 

20. The description of the evidence of Dutch practice put forward by Professor Schrijver started with two maps of 1842 and 1883 that are said to place the three disputed features outside of the Dutch sphere of influence. In the case of both maps, I would simply note that, if Pedra Branca appears to be outside the Riau Residency, this does not mean that it was considered by the authors of the maps to fall within the British sphere of influence and certainly not that it belonged to Johor. These maps contain no attribution of sovereignty, and therefore they do not provide any useful indication for purposes of sovereignty. 

21. Professor Schrijver also advanced some very defensive arguments concerning the 1850 letter of the Dutch Resident in Riau. He complained that Singapore "upgraded" this letter "out of all proportion" and he referred to it dismissively as just an "internal slip of paper", "not a public document", but "part of an internal correspondence between two Dutch officials", and evidence "so flimsy as not worthy of being taken seriously" (CR 2007/27, 16 November 2007, pp. 21-22, para. 36,). This is another example of Malaysia's double standards. When a document runs against Malaysia's interests, it becomes a mere "slip of paper". However, when a document suits its interests, notably in the case of the internal letter by the then Commodore Thanabalasingham to his officers, then it becomes a display of Malaysia's sovereignty. Malaysia cannot have it both ways. 

22. What is significant is that Professor Schrijver, whose mother tongue is Dutch, did not challenge Singapore's translation of the letter's text: "a lighthouse on Pedra Branca on British territory". Evidently, he did not subscribe to the comment made by Sir Elihu Lauterpacht in his opening speech that the expression used "is properly construed, as being within the British sphere of influence" (CR 2007/26, p. 21, para. 45). The fact remains that a high-ranking Dutch official clearly considered Pedra Branca to be "on British territory" and this letter, and the presence of Dutch gunboats when the British were undertaking their building activities on the island, represent evidence of the Dutch attitude that Britain had sovereignty over Pedra Branca.  
 
23. It should also be emphasized in this connection that Malaysia has conveniently passed over in silence the 1655 letter of the Dutch Governor of Malacca to the Netherlands East Indies Company in Batavia. As the Court will recall, during Singapore's first round presentation, Professor Pellet pointed to the incorrect and misleading translation of this text made by Malaysia. Malaysia's translation reads: "without his [meaning the ruler of Johor's] command", which is meant to suggest that the Dutch authorities did not dare to take their trading ships in the area without the order of the ruler of Johor. Professor Pellet showed that the possessive "his" has been gratuitously added by Malaysia and that the correct translation of the text is "in the absence of an express command", referring to the command of the Dutch authorities. Professor Crawford, while mentioning this letter in passing, did not question Singapore's translation (CR 2007/24, pp. 61-62, para. 14). Consequently, what Singapore stated in its written pleadings and in the first round presentation still stands (RS, pp. 25-26, paras. 2.41-2.43; SR, Ann. 8;. CR 2007/20, pp. 56-58, paras. 11-14 (Pellet)).  
 
24. As to the practice of Great Britain, permit me to respond briefly to Professor Schrijver's arguments regarding the survey undertaken by the British ship HMS Dampier. As the Court will recall, clearance was requested by the British Royal Navy with the Malaysian Ministry of Defence "to carry out surveys in West Malaysia". There was no mention in this request of Pedra Branca or related features. Moreover, the request took place in 1967 at a time when the British fleet was based in Singapore and did not need Singapore's permission to travel to and from Singapore's waters. It is a remarkable stretch of the imagination to conclude, as Malaysia does, that this episode represents "the perception of the United Kingdom [that] the three features form part of Malaysian territory" (CR 2007/27, p. 24, para. 44 (Schrijver); emphasis in original).  
 
25. With respect to the so-called "Indonesian practice" referred to by Malaysia, I have already dealt with the 1969 Indonesia/Malaysia Continental Shelf Agreement. As to the 1973 Territorial Sea Agreement between Indonesia and Singapore, as pointed out in Singapore's Counter-Memorial (pp. 159-160, paras. 6.67-6.70), this treaty was not intended to carry out a complete maritime delimitation of the Contracting Parties' zones. The authoritative study on maritime boundaries by Charney and Alexander observes in this regard that "the delimitation in this agreement has been left 'unfinished' except in the heavily navigated portion of the Strait of Singapore" (International Maritime Boundaries, Vol. I (1993), p. 1052). What is more, the same approach was adopted in the Malaysia/Indonesia Territorial Sea Agreement of 1970, which also did not effect a complete delimitation but was limited to the busy area of the Malacca Strait. In that agreement as well Pedra Branca was "forgotten", to use Malaysia's terminology. The fact of the matter is that none of these agreements concerned Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks or South Ledge.  
 
26. What Professor Schrijver calls "the practice of other States in the region" is represented by the naval patrols jointly undertaken by Malaysia with Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom within the framework of the 1957 Anglo-Malayan Defence Agreement, and certain United States maps that do not depict Pedra Branca. This material is said to be evidence of an appreciation that Pedra Branca was Malaysian. Frankly, it is impossible to see where such an appreciation can be found. The fact that these were joint patrols cannot provide evidence of an opinio juris. Moreover, Malaysia fails to mention that scope of the defence agreement covers the territory of Singapore. As for the United States maps, Malaysia finds them significant for what they do not show, i.e., for the fact that they do not depict Pedra Branca or that they do not show maritime lines around or near Pedra Branca. But attribution of sovereignty cannot be established by the absence of a feature or the absence of a maritime delimitation line on a map.  
 
27. Before I leave the subject of Malaysia's treatment of third-State practice, I would like to add a few words about the press release of the Philippine Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the 2005 collision of the Everise Glory and Uni Concord in the waters off Pedra Branca. The Court will recall that the communiqué of the Philippine Foreign Ministry stated that the incident took place "off Pedra Branca, Singapore". Malaysia has found nothing better to say in response to these facts than to argue that the Philippines was biased against Malaysia due to its "long-standing claims over parts of Malaysian territory" (CR 2007/27, p. 27, para. 54 (Schrijver)). This argument is not only speculative, but it is also non sequitur. What do the Philippines territorial claims in the area of Sabah have to do with its acknowledgment of Singapore's sovereignty over Pedra Branca? In any event, this Court is concerned with facts and not speculation and the fact is that this document recognizes that Pedra Branca is part of Singapore's territory.  
 
D. The role of the cartographic material  
 
28. I now turn to the role of the cartographic material. Malaysia's treatment of maps, like many other aspects of its case, is inconsistent. The Court is invited to assign weight to maps when Malaysia thinks they support its case, but when Malaysia's own official cartography shows Pedra Branca as appertaining to Singapore  and this applies not to one, but to six maps published over a period of 13 years, well before the critical date  then Malaysia asks the Court to disregard them as irrelevant.  
 
29. In spite of the efforts of our opponents to deploy maps to buttress Malaysia's claim, the basic proposition made by Singapore in its first round presentation still stands: in most cases maps are the evidence of a confirmatory kind and can establish sovereign title only in exceptional circumstances. Where the Parties disagree is on the role to be assigned to the official maps issued by Malaysia supporting Singapore's claim. I shall revert to these maps momentarily. But first, I would like to recall two international precedents that have discussed the relevance of maps in territorial disputes. Perhaps the most celebrated dictum on the subject is that pronounced by the Chamber of the Court in the Burkina Faso/Mali case. It is so well known that I will not read it into the record, but the citation can be found in the transcript later:  
 
"merely constitute information which varies in accuracy from case to case; of themselves, and by virtue solely of their existence, they cannot constitute a territorial title" (Frontier Dispute (Burkina Faso/Republic of Mali), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1986, p. 582, para. 54; also cited with approval Kasikili/Sedudu Island (Bostwana/Namibia), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1999 (II), p. 1098, para. 84. See, also, Territorial and Maritime Dispute between Nicaragua and Honduras in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Honduras), Judgment of 8 October 2007, para. 215.).  
 
30. But, going back in time, in the Island of Palmas arbitration, Max Huber summarized very effectively the role of maps in territorial disputes. The relevant passage of the Award is quite lengthy, but it deserves to be quoted in full: it is also at tab 29 of the judges' folders:  
 
"[O]nly with the greatest caution can account be taken of maps in deciding a question of sovereignty, at any rate in the case of an island such as Palmas (or Miangas). Any maps which do not precisely indicate the political distribution of territories, and in particular the Island of Palmas (or Miangas) clearly marked as such, must be rejected forthwith, unless they contribute  supposing that they are accurate  to the location of geographical names. Moreover, indications of such a nature are only of value when there is reason to think that the cartographer has not merely referred to already existing maps  as seems very often to be the case  but that he has based his decision on information carefully collected for the purpose. Above all, then, official or semi-official maps seem capable of fulfilling these conditions, and they would be of special interest in cases where they do not assert the sovereignty of the country of which the Government has caused them to be issued.  
 
If the Arbitrator is satisfied as to the existence of legally relevant facts which contradict the statements of cartographers whose sources of information are not known, he can attach no weight to the maps, however numerous and generally appreciated they may be.  
 
The first condition required of maps that are to serve as evidence on points of law is their geographical accuracy. It must here be pointed out that not only maps of ancient date, but also modern, even official or semi-official maps seem wanting in accuracy." (Island of Palmas (Netherlands/United States of America), 4 April 1928, RIAA, Vol. II, pp. 852-853.)  
 
31. This passage, which was cited with approval by this Court no later than last month in the Nicaragua v. Honduras Judgment (para. 214), highlights the main points which can be made in relation to cartography in the present dispute:  
 
[On screen]  
 
maps should also be taken with great caution in deciding sovereignty issues;  
 
ancient maps are particularly wanting in accuracy;  
 
maps that do not indicate precisely political attributions should be rejected outright, unless they contribute to the accurate location of geographical names;  
 
official maps have special interest when they do not assert the sovereignty of the government that issued them;  
 
no weight can be attached to the maps if the Court is satisfied that legal facts exist contradicting the statements of cartographers.  

Maps should be taken with great caution, ancient maps are wanting in accuracy: the early maps in this case  
 
32. If we now apply these principles to the present case, the notion that maps should be treated with great caution in matters relating to sovereignty becomes apparent. With respect to the early maps, it is a truism to say that they often lack accuracy or geographic precision. In the present case, the sources of the majority of these maps are unknown, there is rarely evidence that they were commissioned or even seen by the local rulers, or that they were based on accurate surveys of the relevant regions. Moreover, the colours, labels and various designations appearing on them are inconsistent and do not show that Pedra Branca was attributed to any particular sovereign. Not only are these maps irrelevant to prove the existence of a sovereign title over Pedra Branca vesting on Johor, they also do not demonstrate a general opinion or repute that the islands appertained to Johor.  
 
33. On Wednesday, Professor Crawford argued that Pedra Branca was not terra nullius because it appeared "by name in the earliest maps of the region and was marked as falling within the domains of Johor" (CR 2007/25, p. 15, para. 10). He cited four maps. None of these early maps contain any attribution of territory to any specific ruler. The mere fact that an old map may depict a feature such as Pedra Branca does not mean that such feature was not terra nullius or that it necessarily belonged to any particular sovereign entity. The same reasoning applies to the early maps shown by Ms Nevill in her presentation.  
 
34. In this connection, it is worth recalling that the Tribunal in Eritrea/Yemen was also confronted with a large number of maps from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries adduced by Yemen in support of its arguments based on an historic title. The Tribunal concluded that the maps contained no attribution of the disputed islands to Yemen, and stated as follows, in relevant part (tab 30 of the judges' folders):  
 
"It appears not unreasonable to infer from the map evidence that rulers (including in particular the Imam of Yemen) of Southern Arabia before the 1872 Ottoman conquest probably did perceive that the Islands fell within their territorial claim as part of Yemen or of the Arabian coast. However this impression must be qualified by the fact that it is not possible to evaluate the colour of maps produced during periods when hand-colouring had to be applied to maps at a second stage. These factors are therefore not determinative with regard to the issue of reversionary historic title. Moreover, there is no evidence that Southern Arabian rulers themselves ever saw or authorized these maps. Conclusions based on this material would be tenuous at best." (Eritrea/Yemen, Award in the First Stage, 9 October 1998, para. 370; emphasis in the original.)  
 
35. Similarly to Eritrea/Yemen, there is no evidence in the present case that the maps in question had any official "imprimatur" from a local ruler, and there is no attribution of territory in them. The colours applied to islands and continents are meant to embellish, not to indicate political attributions, just like the mythical animals and sea monsters that appear here and there are drawn not to reflect reality, but to underline the exotic nature of faraway lands. This has nothing to do with the attribution of territory.  
36. With respect to the 1849 map of Singapore and dependencies that was relied on by Ms Nevill as confirmatory evidence that Pedra Branca was not part of Singapore at the time (CR 2007/27, p. 42, para. 48), Pedra Branca may not appear on this map, but what legal conclusion can be drawn from that? In 1849, the British Government was still undertaking the building activities on Pedra Branca. The same can be said of the 1852 copy of the map of Singapore and dependencies (RM, Vol. 2, map. 1); this merely repeats the information already contained in the first map.  
 
Maps that do not indicate precisely political attributions: maps showing lines at sea and maps of Singapore not showing Pedra Branca  
 
37. Ms Nevill displayed last week a series of twentieth century maps depicting lines at sea and repeated, like a comforting mantra, the words "again, and again and again" to signify that these maps showed Pedra Branca appertaining to Johor or Malaysia (CR 2007/27, pp. 35-40, paras. 21-39). However, flashing on the screen a successive series of maps, each one with a different history, provenance and purpose, may be superficially suggestive, but it falls far short of proving sovereignty where sovereignty does not exist.  
 
38. If one looks closely at these maps, it becomes apparent that the provenance of the lines at sea shown is unexplained and without legal pedigree. Dotted lines appear to have been drawn quite arbitrarily without regard to where the lines were derived from. Consequently, they have no import for purposes of delimitation of boundaries or attribution of territory, for the only lines that do have legal relevance are those that result from existing maritime delimitations.  
 
39. As can be seen from the map shown on the screen, which is also in the folders under tab 31, the only maritime boundary in the region prior to 1969 was the boundary between the main island of Singapore and Johor agreed in 1927. The rest of the waters was completely undelimited until the 1969 Malaysia/Indonesia Continental Shelf Agreement, which was followed by the 1970 Malaysia/Indonesia Territorial Sea Agreement and the 1973 Singapore/Indonesia Territorial Sea Agreement.  
 
40. The lines shown on this illustrative map are the only genuine boundary lines existing in the area. The remaining maritime zones are undelimited, including, notably, the area around Pedra Branca. As for the "territorial or maritime allocations lines", which Ms Nevill, using a curious terminology, States are depicted on certain maps, they have no legal import. Either there is a boundary delimitation or there is not one.  
 
41. The map on the screen  only one map, Mr. President, showing the actual maritime delimitations in the area  is sufficient to show that the only delimitations that do have legal relevance, the only "legally relevant facts", did not concern Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks or South Ledge.  

42. Finally, Malaysia attaches importance to the maps of Johor showing Pedra Branca while stating that little weight can be placed on the maps of Johor which do not show Pedra Branca. But such maps exist, and this is a fact. It is also a fact that none of the maps shown by Malaysia can be dispositive of title. Let us not forget Max Huber's lesson, which I mentioned earlier, and which was recently recalled by this Court in Nicaragua v. Honduras: "Any maps which do not precisely indicate the political distribution of territories . . . clearly marked as such, must be rejected forthwith." (Island of Palmas, 4 April 1928, RIAA, Vol. II, pp. 852-853; Nicaragua v. Honduras, Judgment of 8 October 2007, para. 214.)  
 
43. It is also worth recalling this statement when Malaysia asserts that the absence of maps issued by Singapore including Pedra Branca is "completely at odds with its claim" (CR 2007/27, p. 46, para. 63.) However, these maps are not political maps. Pedra Branca is very small and uninhabited, and the maps' geographical scope is limited to the main island of Singapore and the islands in the immediate vicinity. Moreover, none of the maps of Singapore indicate that Pedra Branca belongs to Malaysia as do official maps of Malaysia issued between 1962 and 1975.  

Official maps that do not assert the sovereignty of the government that issued them: Malaysia's admissions against interest maps  
 
44. These maps, the maps issued by Malaysia, are entitled to considerable probative weight as evidence of Malaysia's own view as to Singapore's title over Pedra Branca. It is telling that only one of these so-called maps as "admissions against interest" was reproduced by Malaysia in its judges' folders. After all, Malaysia was certainly not stingy in its compilation, since it reproduced a large number of maps in its folders, practically another atlas. Five more maps would hardly have made a difference. Be that as it may, Malaysia's own official maps are indeed embarrassing as they stand as clear statements of Malaysia's view that Pedra Branca belonged to Singapore just as did the other territory labelled as "Singapore" that I showed in my first round presentation.  
 
45. The importance of these maps as admissions against interest is not diminished by the disclaimers they carry. In fact, Malaysia's treatment of the disclaimers appearing on its official maps provides yet another example of its double standards. No attention is called to disclaimers when they appear on maps that suit Malaysia's purposes, but suddenly they become important when it comes to Malaysia's admissions against interests. However, Malaysia forgets the dictum in Eritrea/Ethiopia when the Boundary Commission stated that, even in the presence of a disclaimer, a "map still stands as a statement of geographical fact, especially when the State adversely affected itself produced and disseminated it, even against its own interest" (Decision of 13 April 2002, 41 International Legal Materials 1057 (2002), p. 28, para. 3.27).  
 
46. Ms Nevill resorted to punctuation to explain away this map evidence when she looked for assistance at the presence or absence of brackets, while at the same time she was anxious to label as "factual" her speculative explanations regarding the notation "SINGAPORE" appearing on the maps. In reality, Ms Nevill's "factual" arguments were entirely the fruit of her imagination. I need not repeat them, I will simply let the maps speak for themselves, for these maps [put on screen maps and legends] represent the true facts, as they stood in 1962, again in 1962, 1965, 1970, 1974 and 1975.  
 
E. Malaysia's recognition of Singapore's sovereignty  
 
I now turn to my final topic, with your permission: Malaysia's recognition of Singapore's sovereignty.  
 
47. During Singapore's first round presentation, Professor Pellet recalled how  by its acts and omissions  Malaysia recognized Singapore's sovereignty over Pedra Branca. Significantly, this part of Singapore's presentation was largely ignored by Malaysia last week. Notwithstanding this, Malaysia's acts of recognition represent yet another piece of the puzzle that is consistent with Singapore's case. Rather than repeat all that Singapore had to say on the subject, I will stress a few points discussed by Professor Pellet in the first round. And with his permission, I will borrow his words, which can serve as a preface to my brief comments: "Tout s'enchaîne, Monsieur le président."  
 
Leaving aside the map evidence, which constitutes the first element of the express recognition by Malaysia, we have Malaysia's 130 years of silence in the face of Singapore's open, continuous, peaceful and uninterrupted activities on Pedra Branca. This stands as evidence of its implied recognition and/or acquiescence.  
 
The third element is represented by Malaysia's further acts of express recognition of Singapore's sovereignty, which include:  
 
(i) the disclaimer by Johor in 1953 which Professor Pellet will come back to after my presentation;  
 
(ii) the 1969 Continental Shelf Agreement concluded with Indonesia, which deliberately refrained from extending the limit of the Parties' respective continental shelves to the vicinity of Pedra Branca;  
 
(iii) the requests for permission addressed by Malaysian entities to Singapore authorities to undertake activities on Pedra Branca and surrounding waters before and after the publication of the 1979 map;  
(iv) the elements relating to the Straits Lights that Mr. Bundy has discussed; and  
 
(v) the listing of the rainfall station on Pedra Branca as being "in Singapore" in Malaysia's official meteorological publications, which he also mentioned earlier.  
 
Conclusion  
 
48. In conclusion, Mr. President, distinguished Members of the Court, despite the eloquence displayed by our colleagues on the other side of the Bar, Malaysia has simply been unable to prove the underlying prerequisite for its claim, namely that it had prior title. Malaysia's theory of immemorial title is nothing but a house of cards. The puzzle that Singapore has assembled on the other hand fits perfectly well. Every piece has its place and all the pieces assembled together confirm that Singapore has sovereign title over Pedra Branca and the other two disputed features.  
 
Mr. President, Members of the Court, I thank you very much for your attention. This brings me to a conclusion, and may I ask you to call on Professor Pellet to continue with this presentation.