JOHOR BARU: The task force on the Pulau Batu Puteh case will shed light on who is responsible for Malaysia losing its ownership of the island located some 7.7 nautical miles south of Johor, says Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
The Umno vice-president expressed his happiness over the decision by the government, led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, to form a special task force to study the best option pertaining to the Pulau Batu Puteh case.
The former Johor mentri besar said the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2008 ruled that Pulau Batu Puteh was a sovereign territory of Singapore.
“In February, 2017, the Attorney General filed an application for review of the judgement on the grounds of discovery of new evidence with the hearing date set for June 11, 2018.
“After Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad was sworn in as the seventh prime minister, the Pakatan Harapan-led government decided not to continue with the review causing Malaysia to lose its ownership of Pulau Batu Puteh forever,” he added.
Khaled questioned the reason behind the decision of the then Pakatan administration not to proceed with the review proceedings at the ICJ, which has never been explained.
He said such an important decision should be explained in Parliament in a transparent and accountable manner.
“By setting up the special task force on the case, it is very important for this team to explain in its report the real matter that caused the government at the time to withdraw its review of the Pulau Batu Puteh judgement.
“Malaysians should know whether such action is negligent and disregards the national interest and who should be held accountable in the failure to proceed with the review of the decision,” he added.