SINGAPORE: Singapore’s development works on Pedra Branca are “needed to enhance maritime safety and security, and to improve the search and rescue capabilities in the area”, said Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan on Monday (Feb 27).
The works also ensure that Pedra Branca is “adequately protected against the threat of sea-level rise”.
And these works are “fully in accordance” with international law and Singapore’s sovereignty over the island and its waters, said Dr Balakrishnan in Parliament.
In May 2022, Singapore temporarily suspended the works to facilitate discussions on Malaysia’s concerns and comprehensively address their queries “in the spirit of mutual cooperation and good faith”, noted Dr Balakrishnan.
“In December 2022, Singapore put forward proposals to Malaysia to resolve the issue and to move forward with the work. Subsequently, we agreed to Malaysia’s request for more time for them to consider our clarifications and proposals,” he added.
The development works are currently paused due to the monsoon season.
“We will manage our differences constructively and pragmatically, and not allow any single issue to overshadow the entire relationship,” said Dr Balakrishnan.