Thought of the Day - PAP's Irresponsible Embarrassment

When the Maritime Dispute was flared up back in late 2018, PAP Ministers, MPs and even IBs were making war cries all over.

PAP government even went to the extend of "demonstration of war preparation" by inviting the Main Stream Media to do the First of the kind of report on the Open Mobilization of the Airforce.

Live Firing exercises were carried out subsequently.

Along with the Main Stream Media and its IBs, PAP went on whipping up Nationalistic sentiments against Malaysian's "Intrusion of Singapore's Water".

PAP government has put it in no uncertain terms that the area in dispute is within our maritime boundary.

I was curious about that and did a series of research which I have posted on my Facebook here. It turns out that there is no Internationally recognized Maritime Boundary in that area of dispute!

In fact, the delimitation negotiation which Singapore held with Indonesia has stated very clearly that they could not confirm the maritime boundary which borders Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore basically because Singapore has yet to negotiate and confirm with Malaysia government the exact maritime boundary between the two countries. Thus, the maritime boundary between Singapore and Indonesia stopped short at the western part of Singapore.

It basically means that PAP government actually KNEW that we do not have an official boundary drawn and confirmed with Malaysia in that area of dispute.

I would regret to say that Malaysia was right to say that the disputed waters should be considered as "International Waters" as there isn't any recognized boundary confirmed by any party.

Due to some strange unknown reasons, after more than 50 years of independence, PAP government did not initiate any formal negotiations with Malaysia on delimitation of the maritime boundary in that area.

If PAP knew these facts but yet, went on a series of actions to make war cries, then I have to ask, is that what a responsible ruling party should do?

Many people attacked me for "siding with Malaysia" but the truth is, it is always easier to be populist by hitting the Nationalistic drums rather than looking at the issues objectively and do our own research on these issues to come to a sensible conclusion.

I have stated very clearly in my previous FB posts, the only rational thing to do is to start negotiation with Malaysia to determine and finalize the maritime boundary in that disputed waters, instead of doing war cries which will result in irreparable damage to bilateral ties between the two people across the causeway.

Well, finally PAP comes to their senses and stop their irresponsible nonsense of Nationalistic adventure.

But I have this to say, PAP always tries to portray Opposition parties as "populist", "extremist" or even "irresponsible" but it seems that PAP is guilty of all these traits and Singaporeans should remember this, without a strong, rational, reasonable and critical opposition in parliament, any ruling party like PAP might just goes rogue and become irresponsible, endangering the safety of this nation with their nonsensical self-serving stunts.

Goh Meng Seng

PUTRAJAYA — Within a month from Thursday (March 14), Malaysia and Singapore will revert to their original port limits after both governments agreed to suspend the previous extensions of their port limits.

They also agreed not to authorise and to suspend all commercial activities in the area as well as not to anchor any government vessels in the area.

These were among the five recommendations by a bilateral working group that both countries will implement with effect from Thursday, announced Singapore's Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and Malaysia's Foreign Affairs Minister Saifuddin Abdullah in a joint press statement on the same day.

The other two recommendations are: Vessels of both countries will operate in the area based on international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Relevant government agencies on both sides will "work out practical modalities to avoid untoward incidents in the area", said both ministers.

In the last of the five recommendations, both sides will set up a joint committee chaired by the permanent secretary of Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Chee Wee Kiong and Malaysia’s foreign ministry secretary-general Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob.

This committee will look at the "boundary delimitation", which will ensure that the other recommendations be implemented within one month. Once that has been done, negotiations for maritime boundary delimitation in the area will commence within the following month.

“These measures taken by both countries shall be without prejudice to Malaysia's and Singapore's respective maritime boundary claims in the area,” said the joint press statement.

In the event that the committee is unable to reach an amicable solution on delimitation, the ministers added that both countries “may mutually agree to resort to an appropriate international third-party dispute settlement procedure on terms to be mutually agreed by the parties”.

“Both Foreign Ministers agreed that these measures were vital to de-escalate the situation on the ground and pave the way for maritime boundary delimitation of the area,” the statement said.

“These measures also demonstrate the commitment of both countries to work together to preserve a strong and positive bilateral relationship on the basis of equality and mutual respect, and to resolve bilateral issues amicably in accordance with international law.”