KUALA LUMPUR: The International Court of Justice decision on Pulau Batu Puteh means that all natural resources and minerals in the territorial waters will now belong to Singapore.
Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA) director-general Datuk Cheah Kong Wai said under the Law of the Sea, a countrys territorial waters stretched 12 nautical miles (22.2km) from its shores or any piece of land.
'This is why I personally view the 12-4 decision in favour of Singapore by the ICJ as disappointing as the judgment clearly means that Malaysia has no more sovereignty of the waters there,' he said when contacted yesterday.
Although he said he had not been following the case closely, he added that the 15-1 decision to accord the sovereignty of Middle Rocks to Malaysia was a fair and a 'win-win' verdict.
On the court's decision on South Ledge, Cheah said its sovereignty, which would depend on whose territorial waters it was located in, would have to be determined through negotiation between Malaysia and Singapore.
He said South Ledge was close to Malaysia's Middle Rocks and Singapore's Pulau Batu Puteh and that would cause an overlap of territorial waters.
'In such cases, the territorial waters would have to be re-drawn taking into consideration the overlap,' he said.
Similarly, Cheah added that Pulau Batu Puteh and Middle Rocks were also close by which could possibly result in another re-draw of the territorial waters boundary between the two islands.
He said South Ledge was only visible during low tide and could not be considered as a piece of land.
'That is why the decision by the ICJ was rather vague when it came to this,' he said.
» ICJ's judgment
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» 1953 Johor letter 'hands' over to Singapore
» Three reasons why island went to Singapore
» Court leaves sovereignty over South Ledge open
» PM Lee's comments on ICJ ruling
» PM Abdullah: Decision based on hard facts, evidence
» A good ruling, for both
» Community accepts decision
» Pulau Batu Puteh: Past, present and future
» Loss a big blow for fishermen
» Malaysians can now go fishing off Middle Rocks
» Expert: Natural resources in territorial waters now Singapore's