Apandi’s claim of strong evidence in Batu Puteh case was false, says AGC

Apandi last year started pursuing a revision and interpretation application for the ICJ judgment, with the hearing dates set for June this year. — Bernama pic
Apandi last year started pursuing a revision and interpretation application for the ICJ judgment, with the hearing dates set for June this year. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — The claim made by former Attorney General Tan Sri Apandi Ali that Malaysia had “strong evidence” in reviving its claim for the Batu Puteh island at international courts was not true, the Attorney General’s Chambers said today.

In a statement, the AGC now led by Attorney General Tommy Thomas refuted Apandi’s claim that Malaysia lost its 2008 case for the island due to a letter by the Acting State Secretary of Johor in 1953, which said that the state had no interest in the outlying rock island.

Apandi had argued that Malaysia could dispute the authority of the state secretary in writing the letter, but the AGC said today that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) did not rely on the decades-old letter in deciding in favour of Singapore in the case.

“The record shows that Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi’s statement to be not true,” the chambers said.

“The ICJ judgement concluded among others that it did not consider the 1953 letter as having a constitutive character in the sense that it had a conclusive legal effect,” it added.

Apandi last year started pursuing a revision and interpretation application for the ICJ judgment, with the hearing dates set for June this year.

However, following the change in government, the new administration led by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad decided not to pursue the matter further.

The chambers said that this decision was made after international consultants and local lawyers appointed by Apandi for the case maintained their written opinions from 2017.

“Having considered the views and other national interest matters, including costs, YAB PM decided it would be best to discontinue proceedings,” it said.

The AGC also said that it had no objection to the ICJ judgements being made public.

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