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May 23, 2008

Dreaming Of A Visit To Pedra Branca And Horsburg Lighthouse Singapore

Pedra Branca with Horsburg Lighthouse

Dreaming Of A Visit To Pedra Branca And Horsburg Lighthouse, Singapore

The International Court of Justice in the Hague has awarded Pedra Branca to Singapore in a verdict delivered by a 12 to 4 vote by the 16-member court of judges today. The ICJ awarded Middle Rocks, a maritime feature 0.6 nautical miles from Pedra Branca, to Malaysia by a 15 to 1 verdict. According to the ICJ, South Ledge “belongs to the State in the territorial waters of which it is located” but as the court was “not mandated to draw the line of delimitation with respect to the territorial waters of Malaysia and Singapore in the area in question”, nobody knows who owns it.

In any case, what this means is that Horsburg Lighthouse now belongs to Singapore and the island on which it stands will be known as Pedra Branca instead of Pulau Batu Puteh. My hope is that one day, Pedra Branca could become a tourist attraction of Singapore, with its political background history, ancient lighthouse and marine wild life habitat providing compelling reasons for visitors to brave seasickness for a half day tour of the island and its lighthouse.

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