Singapore confident of retaining Pedra Branca


SINGAPORE: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is confident of retaining Pedra Branca as he said the republic has "a strong case".

"I am confident of the eventual outcome, because we have a capable and experienced team in the AGC (Attorney-General's Chambers)... and furthermore, not only we have a strong lawyers but we have a strong case," he said.

"So I think we're all right," he said in his speech at an event celebrating the AGC's 150th anniversary Friday.

His speech was made available on his Facebook today.

Malaysia has on February 2, filed an application for revision of the International Court of Justice's judgment of May 23, 2008 over Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge.

In its filing, Malaysia cited three documents recently declassified by the United Kingdom to support the application.

"Malaysia is now taking steps to revise that judgment. They are entitled to try, but it is our government's duty to defend Singapore's interests in accordance with international law," said Lee.

Singapore has set up its legal team to respond to Malaysia's application.

The team includes Attorney-General Lucien Wong, Professor S. Jayakumar, Professor Tommy Koh, and former Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong.

In its judgment, the ICJ in The Hague, the Netherlands, had ruled that sovereignty over Pedra Branca belonged to Singapore, sovereignty over Middle Rocks belonged to Malaysia, and sovereignty over South Ledge belonged to the state in the territorial waters of which it is located.

Singapore has also chosen Judge Gilbert Guillaume, a former ICJ president, to sit as judge ad hoc for Malaysia's application for revision of the ICJ's judgment. - BERNAMA