Publication Details

Mohd Rusli, M., Mohamad, R. and Bautista, L. (2014). Should Malaysia Reopen Batu Puteh?. Journal of International Relations and Foreign Policy, 2 (3/4), 43-49.


The International Court of Justice (ICJ) awarded Batu Puteh (Pedra Branca) to Singapore in 2008. However, the sovereignty over the Middle Rocks, a maritime feature that is located about one kilometre from Batu Puteh was granted to Malaysia. This decision left a huge impact for maritime boundary delimitations in this region and incited mixed feelings among Malaysians, Singaporeans and the global community as a whole. Quite recently, the Sultan of Johor has suggested for a special team to be established in making an appeal against the decision of the ICJ in 2008. This article therefore discusses the potential legal and political implications should both Malaysia and Singapore, agree to revive this case again at the ICJ. This article concludes that while this suggestion may possess merits, it is nevertheless more feasible for Malaysia and Singapore to resolve the related disputes through bilateral negotiations so as to preserve the concept of good neighbourliness and to avoid unnecessary disputes in the future.



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