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Singapore/Malaysia: Territorial waters solution could come soon

11 Mar 2019

The Singapore government hopes to reach an amicable solution with the Malaysian government over an issue regarding territorial waters within two weeks, said Acting Minister for Transport Vivian Balakrishnan.

He was giving a speech at the 37th ASEAN Maritime Transport Working Group Meeting (MTWG) on Thursday (7 March) when he made the statement.

“On 25 October 2018, Malaysia decided to unilaterally extend the Johor Bahru Port Limits into Singapore’s territorial waters off Tuas,” he said.

“This purported extension goes beyond even Malaysia’s own territorial sea claims according to its own 1979 map, which Singapore has consistently rejected.

“The inescapable conclusion is that the new Johor Bahru Port Limits transgress into what are indisputably Singapore Territorial Waters.

“Since then, both sides have been engaged in intensive discussions to de-escalate the situation.

“We have made reasonable progress so far, and I hope to make some joint announcements with my counterpart Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah within the next one or two weeks. So, akan datang.”

Balakrishnan, meanwhile, added the ongoing maritime dispute will not affect developments at Singapore’s planned Tuas Terminal.

“The answer is ‘NO’. Development works are proceeding as planned, and there will be no impact to access for ships calling at the terminal in the future,” he states while adding Singapore will continue to be vigilant and safeguard the sovereignty and security of its territorial waters.

Related: Singapore hosts 37th Asean Maritime Transport Working Group Meeting
Other related: MPA: Reminder on prohibited anchoring in western Singapore port limits
Other related:  Singapore extends port limits off Tuas, within territorial waters
Other relatedSingapore: Amendment to reporting procedures for vessels manoeuvring in port
Other relatedSingapore/Malaysia discussions on disputed port limit continue
Other relatedMalaysia ‘categorically rejects’ Singapore maritime port limit argument
Other relatedMPA: Johor Bahru port limit alteration ‘not recognised’ by Singapore

Photo credit: Singapore Ministry of Transport
Published: 11 March, 2019


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