Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has returned to the spotlight with a sweeping statement calling for Singapore’s return to his country’s sovereignty.
The former Malaysian prime minister stressed that Singapore today is “the land of the Malays” and therefore Malaysia must seek its return to the union, and also called for the inclusion of the Indonesian province of Riau into Malaysia.
The Straits Times quotes Mahathir Mohamad as saying in a speech in Kuala Lumpur: “We must demand not only that Pedra Branca or Pulau Batu Puteh (the island of the Republic of Singapore) be returned to us, but we must also demand that both Singapore and the islands Riau, because they are all Tanah Malaya (land of Malawi).”
In a statement criticizing the current policies of the Malaysian government, the 96-year-old veteran politician said: “Instead, we express our gratitude for the leadership of this new country called Singapore.”
It is noteworthy that from 1979 to 2008, a territorial dispute stretched between Singapore and Malaysia over the ownership of the islands of Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge. As a result of the discussions, the decision of the International Court of Justice was adopted, according to which the island of Pedra Branca was recognized as the territory of Singapore, and Middle Rocks was recognized as a place controlled by Malaysia, and the status of its southern tip has not yet been determined, since it is a sea land, visible only during low tide.