Malaysia sets up RCI on Pedra Branca: Azalina

MALAYSIA is setting up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to look into how the government handled the review of an international court’s ruling on three disputed islets including Pedra Branca, a government statement said on Jan 24, said Law Minister Azalina Othman Said.

“The Cabinet has agreed to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to study the handling of cases related to Batu Puteh, Batuan Tengah and Tubir Selatan,” she said in Penampang, Sabah yesterday.

Malaysia uses Malay names to refer to Pedra Branca (Batu Puteh) and the two maritime outcrops – Middle Rocks (Batuan Tengah) and South Ledge (Tubir Selatan).

The decisions were made by Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he became prime minister after the 2018 polls.

Azalina said the King will approve the members of the commission, who will be chosen for their expertise in judicial, legal and public administration matters.

Pedra Branca is located at the eastern entrance of the Singapore Strait, about 24 nautical miles east of Singapore. To its south are Middle Rocks and South Ledge.

In 2008, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) awarded sovereignty over Pedra Branca to Singapore, after both countries took the territorial dispute to the court.