Singapore-Malaysia spat all about one man’s thirst for oil

On the 5th of December 2018, TTF wrote:

Reuters reports that Singapore made a “strong protest” to Malaysia over its plan to extend the limits of a port in its southernmost state, saying it encroached the territorial waters of the wealthy city-state. 

An earlier report by the Singapore based Herald quoted Singaporean Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan as saying that Malaysia had infringed international law by “building into its Malsysian waters,” and pushed the blame squarely to his Malaysian counterpart, Transport Minister Anthony Loke, for ignoring him.

Khaw is said to have threatened Malaysia with armed forces from the Singapore navy and is also said to have demanded that Malaysia remove the Johor port extension.

A TTF contact from within the southern republic’s corridors of power confirmed this to be true an hour ago and added that Khaw made no bones about the possibility of there being serious repercussions to Malaysia on account of Loke’s arrogance.

Then, just yesterday, Loke accused his Singaporean counterpart of disclosing partial and selective information over the proposed Instrument Landing System (ILS) procedure for Seletar Airport.

According to him, while his ministry appreciated the southern republic’s decision to release documents related to consultations held between Malaysia and Singapore, the disclosure was “partial and selective with the primary aim of influencing public opinion”.

To this, Singapore responded by saying that it only released what was necessary to safeguard the confidentiality of discussions that took place (see news item below).

To recap, Singapore recently accused Malaysian vessels of intruding into the Republic’s territorial waters off Tuas which Kuala Lumpur laid claim to only recently.

In retaliation, Malaysia announced plans to reclaim the airspace it delegated to Singapore and protested some new flight procedures which it alleged would stunt development of the Pasir Gudang industrial district. 

On Sunday, PPBM’s Dr Rais Hussin wrote:

“Malaysia has taken a live and let live approach with Singapore, granted that Malaysia knows that Singapore is smart enough not to spoil for a fight. Thus, Malaysia has hardly ever protested about Singapore’s incursions about its airspace.

“Thus when Singapore goes all ballistic about the 14 so-called ‘incursions’ of Malaysian patrol boats… with maps to show by the Ministry of Transport, one wonders if Singapore knows Malaysia has been tolerating it ad nauseum? Not in the sea but in the air.

“If Malaysia asserts its sovereignty and right to self defence, as Singapore Patrol Boats and Navy seem to want to do in the new areas claimed by Malaysia in 2018, Malaysia and Singapore would be having aerial dog fights from 1965 until today.”

It appears that the administration of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is going at it with Singapore on a “tit for tat” basis and has abandoned all principles of diplomacy.

On the 2nd of September 2018, TTF wrote:

The Singaporeans knew precisely why Mahathir had planned to expand Malaysian territory southward by introducing non-submerged land mass around the Middle Rocks cluster.

The cluster just so happens to sit within the eastern opening of the Singapore Straits and the western edge of the South China Sea.

They know that the area is rich with oil and is of interest to the People’s Republic of China.

Mahathir is aware that the Chinese government has long had disputes with the Singaporean government and is desperate to work with Malaysia in exploiting the region.

He planned to build an island where Middle Rocks stands to redraw territorial borders and force Singapore into renegotiating Maritime Security arrangements.

The renegotiation would immediately grant Malaysia exclusive rights to the edge of the South China Sea and allow our oil and gas companies to partake in deep-sea drilling within the region.

Now do you understand why Malaysia is planning to extend the limits of its Johorean port and has regularly been intruding into Singaporean waters?

Basically, all of what’s going on has to do with plans by the Mahathir administration to redraw maritime security borders in order that the Prime Minister’s cronies can conduct deep-sea drilling in present day Singaporean waters.

That explains why our southern neighbour decided to conduct military exercises across the Republic, including live-firing exercises by the army and air force.

Singapore has quietly been discussing military action against Malaysia and the possibility of it severing all diplomatic ties with the Mahathir administration.

And you thought the DAP-led Pakatan government was all about preserving peace and harmony.

KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore today said it had only released the relevant documents on an air navigation system for the Seletar Airport in Singapore, and did not release additional letters between Singapore and Malaysia in order to safeguard the confidentiality of the two nations’ discussions.

Singapore’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) was responding to its Malaysian counterpart’s claim today that it had allegedly “selectively published” documents on the Instrument Landing System (ILS) procedures for the Seletar Airport.

Singapore’s MOT said it had last Tuesday released the relevant correspondence to answer media queries on whether the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) had consulted its Malaysian counterpart back in December 2017 and to address Malaysia’s allegedly inaccurate claim of the matter only being brought to their attention in October 2018.

“Singapore’s view is that it would be useful for negotiations to be kept confidential to facilitate frank and constructive exchanges. This is why we have not released any other correspondence between Singapore and Malaysia on this matter.

“The Malaysia Minister for Transport, Anthony Loke, had expressed a similar view on 4 December 2018,” Singapore’s MOT said in a statement today.

“Nonetheless, we have no objection if Malaysia feels the need to release correspondence on this matter. However, we observe that the Malaysia Ministry of Transport has only mentioned its letters from October and November 2018.

“For transparency, Malaysia should ensure that all correspondence and records of discussions between Singapore and Malaysia be published, including the record of discussion of the latest meeting between the two countries on 29-30 November 2018,” it added.

Earlier today, Malaysia’s Transport Ministry thanked its Singapore counterpart for releasing some documents last Tuesday on the ILS that is at the heart of the two nations’ airspace dispute, but claimed that the disclosure of documents was allegedly “only partial and selective with the primary aim of influencing public opinion”.

Malaysia’s transport ministry said it would contact the aviation regulator directly for clarification if Singapore chooses not to publish the letters sent from October 9 to November 15.

Last Tuesday Malaysia sent a protest note to Singapore over the Seletar Airport’s proposed ILS, which would allegedly jeopardise development around Pasir Gudang in Johor due to height restrictions that must be imposed to comply with the system.

Source: The Malay Mail Online