Selangor Journal
(from left to right) Wife of the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong, and wife of the Prime Minister of Singapore Ho Ching, at the official lunch held in honour of Anwar’s visit to the island republic, at The Istana in Singapore, on January 30, 2023. — Picture by FACEBOOK/ANWAR IBRAHIM

Anwar urges Singapore to examine effects of reclamation at Batu Puteh

SINGAPORE, Jan 30 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has urged Singapore to examine the reclamations carried out in the Batu Puteh area to ensure they were not affecting the environment and the country’s borders with Malaysia.

“That must be finalised. I have Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s agreement to hear our arguments in the near future,” he told the Malaysian media at the end of his official visit to the republic today.

According to Anwar, the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision has placed the Batu Puteh area under Singapore’s jurisdiction, so for Singapore, the reclamation was in accordance with the valid decision.

The Prime Minister was asked whether there were any reclamations carried out by the republic during the 10 years the matter was under judicial review.

When asked to confirm if Malaysia no longer planned to appeal the ICJ decision, Anwar said: “We have already missed that opportunity.”

“We have to accept the ICJ’s decision but in terms of the interpretation and definition of the agreement, we are currently discussing, as to what extent the reclamation (by Singapore) can be done,” he said.

However, the Prime Minister said he wanted negotiations between the two countries to be held in a peaceful manner.

Summing up his one-day visit today, Anwar said he managed to achieve a number of things, including issues that involved direct negotiation as well as sensitive ones.

“But it can be discussed (sensitive issues) more thoroughly, including the water issue,” he said.

Anwar added that Singapore is willing to begin discussions on the water issue with a new arrangement to ensure sufficient water supply for the state of Johor and the republic.

The Prime Minister said that water supply negotiations could include the state of Pahang.

The four-eyed meeting between the leaders of the two countries also touched on the congestion at the Johor Causeway, which Anwar said had caused difficulties for hundreds of thousands of Malaysians, as well as Singaporeans travelling to Malaysia.

“We agreed to a temporary fix. We will introduce a more sophisticated digital system but also provide additional facilities, especially on the weekends and in the morning for Malaysian workers who have to get up at 4am to earn a living and return home in difficulty,” he said.

Regarding airspace control, Anwar said the two countries had agreed to determine the area that should come under Malaysia’s absolute right.

“In addition, Singapore is ready to discuss so that the route for Changi International Airport is not disturbed by anyone, so that it can be used for the republic’s flight routes.

— Bernama


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