Intellasia East Asia News – Mahathir claims his comments on Singapore and Riau taken ‘out of context’

Former two-time Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday (23 June) said his recent comments on Malay lands, which sparked controversy in Singapore and Indonesia, were taken out of context.

In a short statement, Dr Mahathir said, “I am not asking Malaysia to claim the land that we had lost. I am trying to point out that we are so concerned over losing a table-size rock but never about bigger parts of Malaysia when they were taken from us.”

The 96-year-old MP for Langkawi and Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Homeland Fighters’ Party) chair also said that losing Pedra Branca, or Pulau Batu Puteh, “is no big deal”.

“It was the mistake of the Johor government to deny that the rock belonged to Johor. Had that denial not been made, there would be no dispute now,” he said.

“We should be grateful that the world court awarded Pulau Ligitan and Sipadan to us. They are much more valuable than Pulau Batu Puteh just a rock outcrop,” he added.

Speech uploaded online

In his speech on Sunday, which was uploaded online by Astro Awani, Dr Mahathir said that historically, Malay lands stretched from the Isthmus of Kra in southern Thailand to the Riau Islands.

“We should demand not just that Pedra Branca, or Pulau Batu Puteh, be returned to us, instead we should also demand for the return of Singapore and the Riau Islands to Malaysia as Malay lands,” he said to audible applause from his audience.

“But today, we are left with only the peninsula… I wonder whether we will continue to own this peninsula. I am worried for the future of Malays, whether the peninsula land will also be owned by another party,” he added.

In 2002, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Sipadan and Ligitan belonged to Malaysia and not Indonesia.

But in 2008, the ICJ awarded Pedra Branca to Singapore. Malaysia applied for a review of the judgment in 2017 but withdrew the review application a year later after Dr Mahathir became prime minister for the second time.

Indonesia rejects Dr Mahathir’s claim

On Wednesday, Indonesia’s foreign ministry said there was no legal basis for Dr Mahathir’s claim that the Riau Islands belonged to Malaysia.

Under international law, the nearly-1,800 islands that make up the Riau Islands province belong to Indonesia, said foreign ministry spokesman Teuku Faisasyah, according to news portal Tempo.

“Indonesia does not see any legal basis and reason for Tun Mahathir’s statement,” he reportedly said.

“In a time when the world is facing many challenges, a senior politician should not be making baseless statements that can harm friendships,” he added.

Dr Mahathir’s speech, titled Melayu dan Kelangsungan Bangsa (Malays and National Continuity), was delivered at the event Aku Melayu: Survival Bermula (I’m Malay: Survival Begins) in Selangor. It was organised by Kongres Survival Melayu (Congress for Malay Survival), a grouping of several NGOs.


Category: Singapore

Print This Post

Source link


Israeli air strikes in Syria kill three soldiers: State media

Latest Israeli strikes target sites around the capital Damascus...

Trump lawyer claimed no classified material was at Mar-a-Lago in signed letter to Justice Department

The letter signed by the attorney raises fresh questions...

Some Capitol Rioters Try To Profit From Their Jan. 6 Crimes

Facing prison time and dire personal consequences for storming...

PPB dan PBI Daftar Sebagai Peserta Pemilu 2024 ke KPU di Hari Terakhir –

Laporan Wartawan, Fersianus Waku TRIBUNNEWS.COM, JAKARTA - Sejumlah partai politik (Parpol) mendaftarkan diri sebagai peserta Pemilu 2024 di Komisi Pemilihan Umum (KPU) RI, Jakarta Pusat,...

Prakiraan Cuaca BMKG Minggu, 14 Agustus 2022: Jakarta Pusat Hujan Sedang, Yogyakarta Hujan Ringan –

TRIBUNNEWS.COM - Berikut ini prakiraan cuaca BMKG untuk 33 kota besar di Indonesia pada Minggu, 14 Agustus 2022. BMKG memprediksi Kota Jakarta Pusat akan mengalami hujan...

Total 31 Partai Politik yang Telah Mendaftar ke KPU, Dua Partai Batal Mendaftar Hari Ini –

Laporan Wartawan, Mario Christian Sumampow TRIBUNNEWS.COM, JAKARTA - Ada dua partai politik (parpol) yang batal mendaftar ke Komisi Pemilihan Umum (KPU) Republik Indonesia (RI)...