KUALA LUMPUR: May 26, 2008 By SIM LEOI LEOI
PAS has voiced its dissatisfaction with the “weak” arguments forwarded by the Malaysian lawyers involved over the claim of Batu Putih in the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Its vice-president Nasharuddin Mat Isa said the weak arguments had resulted in Malaysia’s sovereignty over the island being taken over by Singapore.
“There was a lack of evidence to prop up our claims. Singapore being awarded the island will certainly bring a lot of hardship for our fishermen in Johor waters.
“We had a weak team of lawyers to fight our case,” he told reporters Monday in the Parliament lobby here.
PAS, he added, would be explaining this issue to its members and rakyat all over the country.
Nasharuddin also said PAS youth chief Salahuddin Ayub would be tabling an attempt under 18(1) of the Parliament Standing Orders for an emergency motion on the issue.
On another matter, Pontian MP Ahmad Maslan urged the Government to move into another island, where Singapore still maintains a lighthouse, and develop it.
This was, he added to avoid “banana trees from fruiting twice” as Singapore could move to stake a claim on Pulau Pisang, located some 5km from the coast of Pontian, Johor.
“Why should Singapore be allowed to keep the lighthouse there? Wisma Putra told me that under the present agreement, Singapore is allowed to maintain the lighthouse as long as it is still being used and for as long as there are stars and a moon.
“But in this day and age, no ship uses a lighthouse and all of them now rely on global positioning system and radar to guide them. So what’s the use of the lighthouse?” he said.
The Government, Ahmad added, should develop the island into a tourist and recreation area.
“In fact, I have proposed for the island to be included into a national park nearby,” he said, adding that besides the lighthouse, Pulau Pisang - comprising four smaller islands - now housed some fruit orchards and two small houses.