Latest RCI report on Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks, and South Ledge presented to Malaysia’s King

Malaysia’s King Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar today received the latest report from the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to study sovereignty issues over Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks, and South Ledge.

According to Sultan Ibrahim ’s Facebook page, the report was presented by RCI chairman, Tun Md Raus Sharif. This was following a meeting that lasted nearly an hour at Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur.

The suggestion to form the RCI was first made by Pengerang MP, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, in 2022. Azalina currently serves as the Law and Institutional Reforms Minister.

In January, the Malaysian government agreed to establish the RCI that would look into the issues in the handling of the territorial case involving the three areas. The King, a month later, had consented to the immediate establishment of the RCI.

In 2008, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decided that Pulau Batu Puteh belonged to Singapore, Middle Rocks to Malaysia, and South Ledge to the state in the territorial waters in which it is located.

Malaysia applied to the ICJ requesting an interpretation of the judgment in 2017. However, in 2018, the Malaysian government, then led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, withdrew an application to overturn the ICJ ruling, thereby awarding legal jurisdiction of Batu Puteh to Singapore.

On June 12, Dr Mahathir provided testimony during the closed-door proceedings of the RCI. On the same day, the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed Dr Mahathir’s application to initiate judicial review proceedings for the RCI.

The former prime minister, had among others, asked for the RCI proceedings to be opened to the public.

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