Monday, June 7, 2010

Petra Branca and Both Its Stupid and Smart Masters

Pedra Branca (formerly referred to by Malaysia as Pulau Batu Puteh and now as Batu Puteh) is an outlying island of Singapore. The name means "white rock" in Portuguese, and refers to whitish guano(bird droppings) deposited on the rock. On 21 December 1979 Malaysia published a map which showed the island to be within its territorial waters. This ignited a 29-year territorial dispute which, together with the issue of sovereignty over the nearby maritime features of Middle Rocks and South Ledge, was presented to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for resolution (wikipedia).

Attended a law conference held in Yonsei University in last April. I'm not a law major but i'm interested in international issues and dispute settlement. As a civil engineer, we need to know some dispute settlement knowledge in construction management too. Thats why i audit the class of International law in law faculty.

The culture of law lecture is totally different compared to engineering. The law professor is like a live history book who can tell you all sort of stories and history without a thought! Power point presentation is not common in the law lecture. The lecturer will sit in front of the class and do his talking. Sometimes the students might just sit at their own place, do their presentation giving their thoughts, summary and understanding of one of the chapter assigned to them.

Lets go back to the conference. I decided to write this post after reading a post from my good fren in facebook initially pertaining a group of Msian lawyers planning to bring Israel to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). I think i better copy it here. Yeah, yeah.... i like to copy, but not plagiarism.

From facebook:

Cheong Chun Siong Good idea, but make sure not to include any of the lawyers from Attorney General. They can't even win a case over some rocks (Petra Blanc).

12 hours ago · ·
Marcus Mok
Marcus Mok
A Korean conference paper caught my attention last two months. Since then, only I realized that it was our own mistake by not able to oppose Spore's exercise of sovereignty for the islands between 1852 to 1952 (100 yrs man!!). The official reply from the Acting State Secretary of Johor to British in 1953 stating that Johor Gov does not claim ownership of Pedra Branca settled the case for the ICJ judges. (Kevin Tan, 2010). I think Msia could have gain back the control in 1963 before Spore left us in 1965. Did our local press informed us on all this? Perhaps just created hatred towards neighbouring country as wish by the BN government, which never admit its own faults as usual.
about an hour ago ·
Cheong Chun Siong
Cheong Chun Siong
Doubt if the government are that smart to know they are at fault.. probably they didnt even realise this until the argument was brought up by Singapore lawyers. :)
54 minutes ago

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