Photo of Pedra Branca

Malaysia’s Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Apandi filed an application with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday (Feb 2), to revise the Hague ruling of the sovereignty of Pedra Branca. According to the Malaysian AG, the Malaysian authorities found new declassified British documents that will rule the South China Sea granite rock in their favour.

“The application was made by Malaysia upon the discovery of some fact of such a nature as to be a decisive factor, which fact was, when the judgment was given, unknown to the Court and also to Malaysia as the party claiming revision. We are also confident that the requirements as stipulated under Article 61 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice have been met in that, inter alia, the application for revision is brought within six months of the discovery of the new fact, and within 10 years of the date of the Judgment. I’m very confident, so is my team at The Hague.”

In 2008, the Hague ruled the rock in Singapore’s favour due to the decades of inaction by the Malaysian government when Singapore built military equipment during the 1960s.

Singapore is sending its very elite of legal experts, consisting of ambassador Tommy Koh, former Deputy Prime Minister S Jayakumar, Attorney-General Lucien Wong and its former Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong, to contest the Malaysia’s appeal. However, the Singapore government is unaware of which declassified British documents Malaysia is referring to.

In Nov 2008, former Mentor Minister Lee Kuan Yew said that he intend to reclaim land around the rock and build a nuclear power plant in Pedra Branca. However it was not feasible as an international requirement of 30km radius around the rock need to be clear of inhabitants. Less than 30km away is the Malaysia coast, and it is unlikely Malaysia will allow Singapore the liberty to build a nuclear power plant. However, it is understood that Malaysia intends to use the rock to build the nuclear power plant themselves.