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HIGH COMMISSIONER OF SINGAPORE CALLS ON
THE DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR BILATERAL AFFAIRS OF
THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS MALAYSIA
5 DECEMBER 2018
The Government of Malaysia today communicated to the Government of Singapore two protest notes, through the Singaporean High Commissioner to Malaysia. The first pertains to Singapore’s publication of the Instrument Landing System (ILS) and ILS Approach Procedures for Seletar Airport on 1 December 2018. The second relates to the outstanding maritime boundary delimitation issues between Malaysia and Singapore, including the new Johore Bahru Port Limits and the recent incidents in relation to it.
On the publication of the ILS and ILS Approach Procedures for Seletar Airport, the Ministry registered the Government of Malaysia’s strong objection and protest to the said publication by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) without the agreement of the Government of Malaysia.
The unilateral act by the Government of Singapore is a violation of Malaysia’s sovereignty and is an intrusion of Malaysia’s sovereign airspace above its territory. This contradicts the principles that each State has complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above its territory; and that the delegation of a State’s responsibility for its air traffic services over its territory does not derogate its sovereignty.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia therefore reiterates the call by the Government of Malaysia for the immediate withdrawal of the publication of ILS and ILS Approach Procedures for Seletar Airport by the Government of Singapore.
With regard to the outstanding maritime boundary delimitation issues between Malaysia and Singapore, the Government of Malaysia categorically rejects the Government of Singapore’s allegation that the new Johore Bahru Port Limits as indicated in the Federal Government Gazette P.U. (B) 587 “Declaration of Alteration of Port Limits for Johore Bahru Port” published on 25 October 2018 by the Attorney-General’s Chambers of Malaysia, has resulted in the encroachment of the port limits in Singapore’s territorial waters off Tuas, or that it is a violation of Singapore’s sovereignty and international law.
The Government of Malaysia affirms that the new Johore Bahru Port Limits are within Malaysia’s territorial sea. Further, it is well within the Government of Malaysia’s right to draw any port limit in its territorial sea in accordance with Malaysia’s own national laws. As such, the Government of Malaysia refutes the view that Malaysia’s government vessels had intruded into Singapore territorial waters off Tuas.
The Government of Malaysia’s position is that it is within Malaysia’s right as a sovereign state to deploy its enforcement and implementation agencies within its territorial sea. This practice is fully consistent with international law, and as such, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and the Marine Department of Malaysia have not intruded into any part of Singapore’s territorial waters.
The Malaysian government is confident that both countries acknowledge and value the good and strong bilateral relations. These sentiments were expressed most recently by the Prime Ministers of both countries during Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s official visit to Singapore from 12-13 November 2018. For this reason, it is important to avoid any acts which may lead to escalation and fuel tension. With this in mind, the Government of Malaysia has proposed to convene a meeting between the Foreign Ministries of both countries to discuss outstanding maritime boundary issues. This spirit of dialogue will also inform contacts between the Ministers of Transport to resolve the ILS and delegated airspace issues.
5 December 2018