M'sia Quietly Drops 'Pulau' From Pulau Batu Puteh As S'pore Claims Exclusive Economic Zone
Malaysia has dropped 'Pulau', the Malay term for island, from its name for Pedra Branca.***** Another case of Singapore outmaneuvering our foreign ministry mandarins. The problem lies in the sad fact that while Singapore recruits the best talents in its crucial departments, we are still hampered by racial quotas and the promotion of mediocre personnel. What pride can there possibly be in packing these offices with so many Malays if they can't get the job done?
The Malaysian government, which has always called the island Pulau Batu Puteh, is now calling it just Batu Puteh, reported the Chinese-language paper Oriental Daily News.
Announcing the change at a press conference earlier this week, Foreign Minister Rais Yatim said it was doing so as it considered the territory as having failed to meet the internationally recognised criteria for an island, that is, land inhabited by humans that had economic activity.
He told reporters that the Singapore Government wanted to claim an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) around it but said this was not possible because it did not qualify as an island.
In his view, it was a mere granite outcrop devoid of vegetation, water sources and human habitation.
Dr Rais said Malaysia had considered it an island in the past, but decided to abide by international standards after the dispute over it with Singapore was referred to the the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
In May, the ICJ had awarded Pedra Branca to Singapore and the Middle Rocks to Malaysia, but ruled that the South Ledge outcrop belonged to whoever owned the territorial waters it sat in.
Dr Rais said the government will set up a research centre on the South Ledge, which he claimed belonged to Malaysia because of its proximity to Middle Rocks.
He also criticised Singapore's announcement about the EEZ.
'Singapore made the announcement without consulting Malaysia. In any case, Singapore's claim of up to 12 nautical miles of territorial waters as well as an EEZ around Batu Puteh was unreasonable and contrary to international law,' Oriental Daily News quoted him as saying.
Many stories abound about the government either not hiring top notch non-Malay experts or treating them so shabbily by denying them promotions that they have been forced to leave. We are now merely 'reaping' the effects of the racism our government has been sowing over the past forty years.