Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Malaysia to claim Pedra Branca using unverified blog photos?

How ridiculous! The team from Malaysia comprising Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar, Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail and his son Federal Counsel Faezul Adzra Tan Sri Gani Patail had to resort to using a blog’s unverified photo of Pedra Branca (Right) to present their case to the judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), The Hague. Singapore’s Attorney-General Chao Hick Tin presented the photos and described it as “an attempt to convey a subliminal message of proximity between Pedra Branca and the coast of Johor”

To quote from the Straits Times dated 20 Nov 2007:

"AT A glance, the two pictures look alike. Both have Horsburgh Lighthouse and Pedra Branca in the foreground. But look again - at the background which shows the Johor mainland, with Point Romania and a hill named Mount Berbukit. In one picture the hill is highly visible; in the other, it is hardly visible.

Therein lies the photographic illusion that Malaysia had created to exaggerate the closeness of Pedra Branca to Johor, Singapore said yesterday at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

The first photograph, which Malaysia had shown the court last week, was taken by a camera using a telephoto lens.

The second photograph was taken by Singapore, using a camera lens that approximates what the human eye sees. As a result, the Malaysian photograph exaggerated the height of Mount Berbukit by about seven times, Singapore’s Attorney-General Chao Hick Tin said when he presented the two photos before the court."

And also to quote from AG Chao:

‘This blog site is a most unusual one. It was created only last month. There is no information on the identity of the blogger and the photograph used by Malaysia was only put on the website on Nov 2 2007, four days before the start of these oral proceedings’

From a layman’s point of view, I think the presentation of a false evidence would badly affect Malaysia’s chance of winning the case to obtain sovereignty of Pedra Branca or Pulau Batu Puteh as Malaysia calls it. It will be interesting to listen to Malaysia's rebuttals in two days' time but in any case, it would be a major embarassment to the Malaysian law authorities for using supposedly fake evidences to prove their case.

Also read:

Malaysia uses plagiarist's blog to claim Pedra Branca at ICJ?

Evidence obtained from a seemingly fake blog to present to court (evidence included)


Xizor2000 said...

It is pretty obvious that Malaysia will use any means, even underhanded ones, to attempt to seize Pedra Blanca from Singapore. Doesn't matter that some time ago the State of Johor had said it isn't theirs to begin with.

James Chia said...

It would be incorrigible if the website were in fact created by the Malaysian government in order to attempt to create a false evidence to prove their case.

ngyt said...

The misleading picture issue does not carry much weight in either countries' cases.
Why did it become an issue at all?

One key thrust of the Malaysian legal team's case is aimed to show that the British did receive explicit permission to use PB/PBP from the Johor sultanate thereby proving that the British had recognised Johor's sovereignty over PB/PBP all along.

The Malaysian legal team submitted that there existed an important letter which had requested for explicit permission. This letter was said to have been sent from the British governor of Singapore to the Johor sultanate. However, the legal team said that Malaysia does not have possession of the letter and alleged that it is in the possession of Singapore's National Archives which had not replied to their requests for the letter. As Malaysia could not produce the evidence (the letter), this allegation actually counts for very little weight in the overall consideration of sovereignty over PB/PBP.

However, this insinuated that Singapore's National Archives had been dishonest. This is unfair because if such a letter did exist, it should be in the possession of Johor's archives as the Johor sultanate was the receipient. The Singapore legal team expressed dissappointment with prinicpally this insinuation. See report -

In retaliation, the Singapore legal team highlighted the inconsequential but juicy misleading picture issue.

Clearly, it was just a case of tit-for-tat.

Anonymous said...

We have been taken a ride by the Singapore controlled media.

This is a legal hearing and if you read the legal argument from the Malaysian side, you realise that the erudite Professors do make fun of our legal team at the ICJ.

I think we will lose more than an island..

The letter mentioned was said to be in the file called "Letter to the Natives" as recorded in ICJ hearing. Even the Malaysian can name the file showing that they have done their homework.

On Singapore side, they did not say that the letter never existed but said that it was lost. Was there a police report made regarding the lost of the letter? The letter is a public property of Singapore.. rightfully the head of the dept should roll.