The International Court of Justice decision on the dispute between Singapore and Malaysia over the islet of Pedra Branca was broadcast live on Friday over Channel News Asia. SIIA Chairman Simon Tay was in studio to comment immediately after the judgment. Tay, an Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Law, also featured on the 7pm news live in studio, and again on the 10pm news broadcasts.
Associate Professor Tay welcomed the decision as resolving the issue which had been outstanding for some 30 years, and described it as a victory for international law. He hoped that both countries would work towards the effective implementation of the issues so that shipping in the narrow and busy Straits of Singapore would continue unimpeded.
Issues remain, as Prof Tay recognized, for while Pedra Branca was awarded to Singapore, the Middle Rocks were awarded to Malaysia. Overlapping claims to the low tide feature, the South Ledge, also remain to be settled. Tay commended both governments for having reached out to each other even before the judgment and expressed optimism that both sides would move ahead for mutual benefit after the decision.