All done and dusted? Not yet!
Horsburgh Lighthouse, as it is today (click on image to enlarge it)
Description of the Foundation Stone
Inscribed on copper plate of the Foundation Stone are the words:
“In the year of Our Lord 1850 and in the 13th year of the reign of Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland:
The Most Noble James Andrew, Marquis of Dalhousie, Kt., being Governor-General of British India:
The Foundation Stone of the Light-house to be erected on Pedra Branca,
and dedicated to the Memory of the Celebrated Hyrdographer JAMES HORSBURGH, F.R.S. was laid on the 24th day of May,
the anniversary of the Birth-day of Her Most Gracious Majesty,
by the Worshipful Master M. F. Davidson, Esq.,
and the Brethren of the Lodge Zetland in the East, no. 748,
In the presence of the Governor of the Straits Settlements,
and many of the British and Foreign Residents of Singapore.
J. T. Thomson,
1962 Map showing the location of Horsburgh Lighthouse
(click on image to enlarge it)
INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE, JUDGEMENT IN THE CASE CONCERNING SOVEREIGNTY OVER PEDRA BRANCA/PULAU BATU PUTEH, MIDDLE ROCKS AND SOUTH LEDGE (MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE)
Dated 23rd May 2008
The full 81 page Judgement can be read HERE
and in the 19 page summary HERE
ICJ Press release (3 pages) HERE
EXTRACT FROM THE JUDGEMENT:-
"Subject of the Litigation
The Court was requested to determine whether sovereignty over:
(a) Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh;
(b) Middle Rocks;
(c) South Ledge,
Geographical location and characteristics
Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh
is a granite island, measuring 137 m long, with an average width of 60 m and covering an area of about 8,560 sq m at low tide. It is situated at the eastern entrance of the Straits of Singapore, at the point where the Straits open up into the
The names Pedra Branca and Batu Puteh mean “white rock” in Portuguese and Malay respectively. On the island stands Horsburgh lighthouse, which was erected in the middle of the nineteenth century.
Middle Rocks and South Ledge are the two maritime features closest to Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh. Middle Rocks is located 0.6 nautical miles to the south and consists of two clusters of small rocks about 250 m apart that are permanently above water and stand 0.6 to 1.2 m high. South Ledge, at 2.2 nautical miles to the south-south-west of Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh, is a rock formation only visible at low-tide.
At the eastern entrance to the Straits of Singapore there are three navigational channels, namely
Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge lie between Middle Channel and South Channel.
(For the general geography of the area, see sketch-map No. 1 and for the location of Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge, see sketch-map No. 2.)
(1) By twelve votes to four,
Finds that sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh belongs to the
(2) By fifteen votes to one,
Finds that sovereignty over Middle Rocks belongs to
(3) By fifteen votes to one,
Finds that sovereignty over South Ledge belongs to the State in the territorial waters of which it is located."
Now that the said judgement has been made, the demarcation of the international borders and territorial waters needs to be done, this is vital at it will not only confirm the ownership of South Ledge, but will also clarify which waters can be accessed and fished by fishing vessels of Malaysia and Singapore, as well as those of Indonesia
One also needs to take into account the territorial waters of
The demarcation and drawing of the boundaries of the territorial waters will no doubt be a lengthy and complex procedure, which in my opinion should be begun immediately.
Mariners transiting as well as approaching the eastern entrance to the Singapore Strait will be glad that the operation of the Horsburgh Lighthouse will not be affected in any way by the judgement.
-To judgement; to common sense