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Singapore and Malaysia suspend overlapping port limits

Singapore and Malaysia suspend overlapping port limits

Both countries are looking to start negotiations for maritime boundary delimitation.

Malaysia and Singapore have mutually suspended the implementation of their overlapping port limits and applied their port limits in effect prior to 25 October 2018 and 6 December 2018, respectively, an announcement revealed.

This suspension is pursuant to one of the five recommendations in the report of the Working Group on maritime issues surrounding the overlapping Johor Bahru Port Limits off Tanjung Piai and Singapore Port Limits off Tuas. These were agreed upon by the Foreign Ministers of Singapore and Malaysia on 14 March 2019, to de-escalate the situation on the ground and pave the way for maritime boundary delimitation, according to a spokesperson from the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore.

On 25 October, Malaysia declared an extension to the Johor Bahru port limits beyond its territorial claims in its 1979 map. As a response, Singapore also extended its port limits on 6 December.

In March, both countries also agreed to suspend the implementation of their overlapping port limits in the waters off Tuas. The two countries also agreed to suspend and block commercial activities in the area, not anchor government vessels and operate according to the international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. (UNCLOS).

Malaysia also set out to suspend its permanent restricted area in the airspace over Pasir Gudang in January 2019, whilst Singapore suspended the implementation of its Instrument Landing System (ILS) procedures for Seletar Airport as part of its efforts to preserve its relationship following aviation and maritime disputes.