Tuesday, May 27, 2008

KL Govt Told: Make Sure Two Other Islands Don't Fall To Singapore

Source : The Straits Times, May 27, 2008

SEVERAL Malaysian politicians have asked the government to keep a close eye on two Malaysian islands to ensure they will not be lost to Singapore, like Pedra Branca was.

PULAU PISANG: The lighthouse on Malaysia's Pulau Pisang is managed by Singapore under a 1885 agreement. -- PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN MALAYSIA

One of the Malaysian-owned islands is Pulau Pisang, on which Singapore operates a lighthouse. The other is Pulau Merambong off Tuas.

Umno-owned mass-selling newspaper Utusan Malaysia yesterday reported on its Page 1 the comments by a Johor MP who said the government must quickly draw up a programme to develop Pulau Pisang to ensure Malaysian sovereignty would not be lost.

The daily also published a big file picture of Pulau Pisang which showed the lighthouse at its centre.

The lighthouse on Pulau Pisang is managed by Singapore under an agreement in 1885 between the ruler of Johor and the governor of the Straits Settlements.

The MP for Pontian, a Johor constituency that includes the island, Mr Ahmad Maslan, said the Pulau Pisang lighthouse has a history 'similar' to Pulau Batu Puteh, the Malaysian name for Pedra Branca.

'Taking a leaf from the bitter experience of Johoreans when Batu Puteh fell under the ownership of Singapore, it is not right for Pulau Pisang to receive the same fate if ownership claims were to be made one day,' he said.

Mr Hamim Samuri, an Umno MP from Johor, said in Parliament yesterday that the government must learn from the Pedra Branca experience and keep an eye on Singapore's activities near Malaysia.

'We have to carefully watch Pulau Merambong which is near Tuas,' he said.

Referring to Pulau Pisang, he said the government must ensure that it is not lost to Singapore as well.

'The Singaporeans fly their flag on the lighthouse there. It gives the impression that they have sovereignty over the island,' he said.

No comments: