At an emergency press release today (Dec 4), Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan had gone on the offensive accusing Malaysia of “violating Singapore’s sovereignty” when the Malaysian state of Johor built a port extension at the Johor Straits.
In a statement from the Transport Ministry, the S$1.1 million-a-year Minister who is an ex-Malaysian national himself threatened Malaysia with armed forces from the Singapore Navy and demanded Malaysia to remove the Johor port extension:
“Singapore has lodged a strong protest with the Malaysian government over its move to extend the Johor Bahru port limits in a manner which encroaches into Singapore’s territorial waters off Tuas… The Republic of Singapore Navy and Police Coast Guard are safeguarding the sovereignty of Singapore territorial waters and enforcing the security of these waters on a 24/7 basis. Singapore will not hesitate to take firm action against intrusions and unauthorised activities in our waters.”
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan claimed that Malaysia had infringed international law by building into its Malaysian waters, and pushed all the blame to his Malaysian counterpart, Transport Minister Anthony Loke, for ignoring him:
“Minister Anthony Loke told me it was a move on the part of their foreign affairs (ministry), and that their ministry will reply to us. But while waiting for the response, which didn’t come, in fact, they escalated actions. They went on to publish a port circular and a few weeks later, a mariners note – instructions to the shipping community about their new boundaries – so we issued a second third-party notice.”
The water territorial dispute came after Malaysia declared that the Johor airspace will be closed off to Singapore’s usage effecting in 2019. The Singapore dictatorship in response humbly asked for “goodwill” – a 180 degree attitude change from its arrogant stance rejecting Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s earlier requests to raise water price and remove the High Speed Rail project.
Singapore and Malaysia’s relationships had deteriorated after the corrupted Lee Hsien Loong-supported Najib Razak dictatorship was overthrown in a general election in May 2018. Najib Razak is currently facing over 30 charges of corruption involving money laundering of 1MDB funds in Singapore where he was Prime Minister.