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Maritime dispute: Timeline of actions between Singapore and Malaysia from 1979

Here is a timeline of events leading to the extension of Singapore port limits.

Maritime dispute: Timeline of actions between Singapore and Malaysia from 1979

A Malaysian government vessel was spotted in the waters off Tuas View Extension on Thursday, December 6, 2018.

On Thursday (Dec 6), Minister of Transport Khaw Boon Wan announced that Singapore will extend port limits off Tuas with immediate effect. The gazetted expansion of Singapore’s port limits — which overlap Malaysia’s unilateral extension of the Johor Baru port limits on Oct 25 — is “well within” Singapore’s territorial waters, Mr Khaw said at a press conference held at the Parliament House. Here is a timeline of events leading to the extension:

CHRONOLOGY OF KEY EVENTS SINCE 1979

1979: Malaysia published a map depicting the limits of the territorial waters it claims, including in the areas in the eastern and western approaches to Singapore. This is the same map in which Malaysia claimed Pedra Branca as its own.

1980: Singapore lodged a diplomatic protest with Malaysia over its 1979 map, asserting that the boundary lines indicated in the map in respect of the areas in the eastern and western approaches to Singapore are unacceptable to Singapore, and that Pedra Branca belongs to Singapore.

1987: Malaysia published its Johor Baru port limits, which tracked the territorial sea limits claimed in its 1979 map.

1995: Singapore and Malaysia concluded the 1995 Agreement between the Government of Malaysia and the Government of the Republic of Singapore to Delimit Precisely the Territorial Waters Boundary in Accordance with the Straits Settlements and Johore Territorial Waters Agreement 1927.

1997: Singapore’s port limits to the west of Raffles Lighthouse were extended slightly for better regulation of shipping traffic in the vicinity.

1999: Malaysia published its amended Johor Baru port limits, which still tracked the territorial sea limits claimed in its 1979 map.

2018: Malaysia published altered Johor Baru port limits, which encroach into Singapore’s territorial waters off Tuas. The altered port limits extend significantly eastward beyond the territorial sea claim in the area made in Malaysia’s 1979 map.

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