In the meanwhile there are bigger things to worry about now approximately hundreds of other islands and reefs to fight over of of the coast of South China Sea that Malaysia could lose if nothing is done to claim them. As the claim of ownership extends beyond islands to marine features such as reefs and even rock formation visible only during low tides, the total number could exceed thousands. According to the NST today, a maritime expert said that the most urgent were about 100 islands, reefs, rocks and other marine features lying in the South China Sea, Straits of Malacca and off Sabah.

            Among the possible claimants are China, Vietnam and Indonesia. In this stage the data collections are very crucial as Malaysia will be in a better position if other countries started claiming for the marine properties. With the help from the National Remote Sensing Centre(MACRES) data collections on the islands and other marine features are easier to gather.

             By far, the MACRES has started zooming in on some of the islands and marine features at the southern coast of the peninsula and other coastal areas to gather information on them. These include Pulau Unarang(off eastern Sabah and bordering Indonesia), Pulau Perak(between Penang and Sumatra) and several islands in the South China Sea. Marine Institute of Malaysia Research Fellow Capt. Rakish Suppiah said Pulau Unarang as one which Indonesia might want to get hold of as it is a good fishing spot.

               Another island that Malaysia has to claim immediately is Pulau Perak. The feature, made up of rocks was a strategic place, with pirates even resting or finding refuge there. As of Pulau Pisang which has a lighthouse operated by Singapore, Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani  assured Malaysian that the island would not fall into Singaporean hands, said that the status of the lighthouse and island was stated in a 1990 agreement between Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim and the British colonial government that administered Singapore.

                The 1900 agreement stipulates that the British were allowed to build a lighthouse on a 0.4ha plot, and a jetty and an access road both of which collectively take up another 0.4ha. He also added that in 2002, the government tightened conditions and procedures for the lighthouse crew.

                  The island, which lies off the west coast of Pontian,Johor is listed in the Johor Land Office Registry while Singapore only has ownership of the lioghthouse, a jetty and the access road linking both structures.

Don’t worry, we’ll just hope that PBP case doesn’t repeat itself next time.. or will it? or does Malaysia has to build more lighthouses and jetties on its island to ‘strenghten’ their property territorial status? Hurmm.. 😕


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