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Singapore Malaysia Territorial disputes

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1 Singapore Malaysia Territorial disputes
By: Chan Wei (06) Lim Zhong Hui(21) 4S1

2 Disputes between both countries
List of disputes a) Territorial disputes Land reclamation at Tuas Land reclamation off Pulau Tekong x2 Pedra Branca dispute (not covered) b) Other disputes (not covered) Bridge dispute Water dispute

3 Saga 1 Pulau Tekong Tuas

4 Pulau Tekong dispute


6 Pulau Tekong Reclamation
In 2005, Singapore wanted to reclaim from waters adjacent to Pulau Tekong in the Straits of Johor.

7 In brief: Pulau Tekong(2003)
Felt that it had the right to reclaim the land as it was well within her territorial waters Singapore Worried that reclamation would affect their shipping as they said that the reclamation narrowed the Straits of Johor Malaysia

8 Tuas Reclamation The purpose of this land reclamation was to construct a customs checkpoint for the causeway in the Strait of Johor, between Singapore and Malaysia.

9 Tuas Reclamation Case of territorial dispute
Arose due to Malaysia’s “Point 20 sliver”

10 Point 20 Sliver – S’pore arguments
The Point 20 sliver is incompatible with the Point W25 Border Agreement in 1995 “Point 20” lies at a point that backtracks abruptly north-east of Point W25 Malaysia could not have agreed to Point W25 in 1995 if it had intended to maintain its claim to “Point 20”


12 Point 20 Sliver – S’pore arguments
Forms an extremely acute triangle of claimed seabed Impossible to construct any coastal configuration that would generate such an extraordinary feature Suspension of works Impose heavy burden on Singapore No benefit whatsoever for Malaysia

13 Point 20 Sliver – S’pore arguments
Malaysia’s argument lacks the necessary urgency Point 20 was reclaimed 23 months prior to the complaint Any urgency should have rose when Singapore first began to implement its published plans to reclaim the Tuas View Extension area Malaysia’s silence at that time raises questions of acquiescence and estoppel Acquiescence: such neglect to take legal proceedings for such a long time as to imply the abandonment of a right. Estoppel: a bar or impediment preventing a party from asserting a fact or a claim inconsistent with a position that party previously took, either by conduct or words, esp. where a representation has been relied or acted upon by others.

14 What next? At the height of the dispute in July 2003:
Malaysia claimed that the work off Pulau Tekong was damaging Malaysia's beaches, harming its fisheries, and affecting its shipping Malaysia claimed that the reclamation off Tuas violated its territorial waters

15 What next? Both sides appeared before the International Tribunal of the Law of the Seas, which declared on 8th October 2003 that: Singapore could continue its reclamation works at Pulau Tekong and Tuas. Malaysian and Singapore governments signed a Settlement Agreement at the Singapore Foreign Affairs Ministry

16 Conclusions A lump sum of 374,000 Malaysian ringgit was paid to Malaysia as compensation for the fishermen who face losses as a result of the reclamation works. Each fisherman received 5,200 Malaysian ringgit. Singapore reassured Malaysia that the safe and smooth passage of ships would not be adversely affected through Kuala Johor and Calder Harbour after the Pulau Tekong reclamation. Singapore modified the final design of the shoreline of its reclamation at the Pulau Tekong area

17 What both sides have to say
Singapore: The civil and civilized manner in which we have been able to settle this dispute gives us confidence that our bilateral disputes can be settled in the same way…We have demonstrated … that where there is an impasse, rather than let our bilateral relations be held hostage to the dispute…we can overcome such disputes on the basis of mutual benefit and mutual respect.” - Then Singapore’s Foreign Minister George Yeo

18 What both sides have to say
Malaysia: "I consider this as a milestone in Malaysia-Singapore relations. ..Despite our initial differences …now we have found that there is nothing impossible if we put our hearts and minds together to find a resolution.” - Then Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar 

19 Peacefully resolved!

20 HOWEVER… SAGA 2 came along...


22 In brief: Saga 2 (2007) In January 2007, Malaysia blamed Singapore’s land reclamation at Pulau Tekong for the flooding in Southern Johor that left 17 people dead. This caused a war of words between both countries for days as temperatures on both sides flared.

23 Severity of the flood 17 people died Around 100,000 evacuated
Floodwaters more than 4m high 1.5 billion ringgit to repair roads and schools and reimburse victims Losses to agricultural sector totaling more than 140 million Residents called it the worst flood in memory

24 Malaysia’s side View of extremists: View of moderates:
The reclamation on Pulau Tekong prevented water from running smoothly to sea in case of heavy rain. In short, Singapore was at fault for the flood in Malaysia. View of moderates: Felt that it was too early to jump to conclusions and that more studies needed to be conducted. Other factors such as extremely high rainfall and tides had to be considered. However, they felt that any reclamation project at river estuaries would definitely have an effect upstream In short, Singapore’s reclamation coupled with other factors caused the flood in Malaysia.

25 A newspaper article: Some quotes from the China Post:
“A Malaysian official has blamed massive land reclamation by Singapore near the Malaysian mainland for the recent flooding” “The reclamation …caused the ...flooding” quoting Johor Chief Minister Abdul Ghani Othman  “The reclamation led to the narrowing of the mouth of the Johor river, slowing the discharge of excess rain water into the Johor Straits, Othman said. This led to the river bursting its banks in Kota Tinggi,”

26 Singapore’s side Singapore defended itself from Malaysia’s accusations , saying that all these comments were unfounded He added that this was confirmed by technical studies that were conducted BOTH by Malaysia and Singapore

27 Another newspaper article
Some quotes by Today online Singapore has rebutted the claim and even Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak has distanced himself from his colleague's statement. "There are all sorts of allegations but we can't reach any conclusion unless a thorough technical study is done on the cause of floods in Johor," he said. "The actual cause of the floods is exceptionally heavy rainfall.” Meanwhile Singapore's Ministry of National Development (MND) said in response to media queries: "The comments are unfounded. This is confirmed by the results from the technical studies that were commissioned separately by both the Malaysian government and the Singapore government." 

28 What did the studies say?

29 Surveys Reached the same conclusion as Malaysia Malaysia
Study carried out by Malaysia’s Department of Irrigation and Drainage in 2002 concluded that there were no appreciable changes to the water levels within the Straits of Johor Singapore Reached the same conclusion as Malaysia 3rd party

30 Conclusion of the saga Was adamant that it was not at fault
Singapore Was adamant that it was not at fault Agreed that for a technical consultant in a joint study Malaysia Toned down its stance Did not really say that Singapore was not at fault Instead, she said that more studies had to be conducted

31 Peacefully resolved!

32 Bibliography

33 Bibliography

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