Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Reclamation dispute between Singapore and Malaysia resolved 

It looks like the long drawn-out dispute over Singapore’s land reclamation in the Johor Straits is coming to an end.

Singapore and Malaysia resolve land reclamation dispute
Diplomats and politicians from both sides of the Causeway have hailed the resolution of a land reclamation dispute as a historic agreement — a win-win solution for Singapore and Malaysia. Representatives from both sides signed a Settlement Agreement at Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday. The agreement was inked by Ambassador-at-Large Professor Tommy Koh from Singapore and Mr Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak, Secretary General of the Malaysian Foreign Ministry. It is a model of how future disputes between the neighbours can be settled through arbitration and dialogue — such as the dispute over Pedra Branca.

Singapore will pay Malaysian fishermen nearly 370,000 ringgit for losses resulting from the settlement works... The experts found that Singapore’s reclamation works would not cause any serious impact and of the 57 impacts identitifed, 40 were classified as slight. Almost all the impact was the result of current patterns or wave action caused by the reclamations. So they concluded that if these changes were reduced, most impacts would either be reduced or disappear. Singapore has agreed to modify the final design of the shoreline at Pulau Tekong, and will pay for protection works at the Tanjung Belungkor Jetty in Johor. And Malaysia will pay for works at Pularek Jetty.

Singapore’s Chief Negotiator Tommy Koh said: “Both Malaysia and Singapore have won. We have won because we have been able to find an amicable solution that accommodates the essential interests of the two countries, and we have done it in the spirit of friendship and goodwill. So the happy headlines I want to see is that both Malaysia and Singapore have won.”...
I think Tommy Koh basically got the “happy headlines”. But Malaysia got the money — 370,000 ringgit — and at least some of the changes it demanded in Singapore’s reclamation works.

Look past the inevitable spin from both sides and arrive at your own conclusions.

The Straits Times has more:

Reclamation row is resolved

Reclamation works: Experts found no major impact on environment

And on the Malaysian side:

M’sia, S’pore Resolve Land Reclamation Dispute

Spat with Singapore settled


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