Friday, 23 May 2008

Sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh

Sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh,
Middle Rocks and South Ledge
(Malaysia/Singapore )

The Court finds that Singapore has sovereignty over
Pedra Branca/Pulau BatuPuteh; that Malaysia has sovereignty over Middle Rocks; and that sovereigntyover South Ledge belongs to the State in the territorial waters of which itis located

THE HAGUE, 23 May 2008. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), principal judicial organ of the United Nations, today rendered its Judgment in the case concerning Sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocksand South Ledge (Malaysia/Singapore ).

In its Judgment, which is final, binding and without appeal, the Court

  • finds by twelve votes to four that sovereignty over Pedra Branca/PulauBatu Puteh belongs to the Republic of Singapore;
  • finds by fifteen votes to one that sovereignty over Middle Rocks belongsto Malaysia;
  • finds by fifteen votes to one that sovereignty over South Ledge belongs tothe State in the territorial waters of which it is located.

Reasoning of the Court

The Court first explains that the dispute between Malaysia and Singapore concerns sovereignty over three maritime features in the Straits of Singapore: Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh (a granite island on which Horsburgh lighthouse stands), Middle Rocks (consisting of some rocks thatare permanently above water) and South Ledge (a low-tide elevation).

Having described the historical background of the case, the Court notes that the dispute as to sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh crystallized on 14 February 1980, when Singapore protested against the publication in 1979 by Malaysia of a map depicting the island as lying within Malaysia's territorial waters. It further observes that the disputeas to sovereignty over Middle Rocks and South Ledge crystallized on 6February 1993, when Singapore referred to the two features in the context of its claim to Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh during bilateral negotiations.

Sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh

Malaysia contends that it has an original title to Pedra Branca/Pulau BatuPuteh (dating back from the time of its predecessor, the Sultanate of Johor)and that it continues to hold this title, while Singapore claims that theisland was terra nullius in the mid-1800s when the United Kingdom (its predecessor) took lawful possession of the island in order to construct a lighthouse.

Having reviewed the evidence submitted by the Parties, the Court finds thatthe territorial domain of the Sultanate of Johor did cover in principle all the islands and islets within the Straits of Singapore and did thus includePedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh. It establishes that this possession of theislands by the Sultanate was never challenged by any other Power in theregion; and that it therefore satisfies the condition of "continuous andpeaceful display of territorial sovereignty". The Court thus concludes thatthe Sultanate of Johor had original title to Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh. It adds that this ancient title is confirmed by the nature and degree of the Sultan of Johor's authority exercised over the Orang Laut ("the people ofthe sea", who inhabited or visited the islands in the Straits of Singapore, including Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh and made this maritime area their habitat).

The Court then looks at whether this title was affected by developments in the period between 1824 and the 1840s. In March 1824, the colonial Powers inthe region, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, signed a Treaty which had the practical effect of broadly establishing the spheres of influence of the two Powers in the East Indies. As a consequence, one part of the Sultanate of Johor (under Sultan Hussein) fell within the British sphere ofinfluence while the other (under Sultan Abdul Rahman, Sultan Hussein's brother) fell within a Dutch sphere of influence. In August 1824, Sultan Hussein ceded the island of Singapore, together with its adjacent seas, straits, and islets to the extent of 10 geographical miles from the coast ofSingapore to the English East India Company in the so-called Crawfurd Treaty. Finally, in a letter of 25 June 1825, Sultan Abdul Rahman "donated"certain territories, which were already within the British sphere of influence, to his brother, thereby confirming the division of the "old" Sultanate of Johor. After careful consideration of the legal effects of these developments, the Court finds that none of them brought any change to the original title.

The Court turns next to the legal status of Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Putehafter the 1840s to determine whether Malaysia and its predecessor retained sovereignty over the island. It observes that in order to do so, it needs toassess the relevant facts, consisting mainly of the conduct of the Parties (and of their predecessors) during the period under review.

The Court examines the events surrounding the selection process of the siteof the lighthouse and the construction of the latter, as well as the conductof the Parties' predecessors between 1852 and 1952 (in particular withrespect to the British and Singapore legislation relating to Horsburgh lighthouse and in the context of the Straits lights system; constitutional developments of Singapore and Malaysia; and Johor regulation of fisheries inthe 1860s), but is unable to draw any conclusions for the purposes of the case.

The Court notes that in a letter written on 12 June 1953 to the British Adviser to the Sultan of Johor, the Colonial Secretary of Singapore asked for information about the status of Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh in the context of determining the boundaries of the "Colony's territorial waters". In a letter dated 21 September 1953, the Acting State Secretary of Johor replied that the "Johore Government [did] not claim ownership" of the island. The Court considers that this correspondence and its interpretationare of central importance "for determining the developing understanding of the two Parties about sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh" and finds that the Johor's reply shows that as of 1953 Johor understood that it did not have sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh.

The Court finally examines the conduct of the Parties after 1953 with respect to the island. Having reviewed all arguments submitted to it, it finds that certain acts, inter alia the investigation of shipwrecks by Singapore within the island's territorial waters and the permission granted or not granted by Singapore to Malaysian officials to survey the waters surrounding the island, may be seen as conduct เ titre de souverain. The Court also considers that some weight can be given to the conduct of the Parties in support of Singapore's claim (i.e., the absence of reaction fromMalaysia to the flying of the Singapore ensign on the island, the installation by Singapore of military communications equipment on the island in 1977, and the proposed reclamation plans by Singapore to extend the island, as well as a few specific publications and maps).

The Court concludes, especially by reference to the conduct of Singapore andits predecessors เ titre de souverain, taken together with the conduct of Malaysia and its predecessors including their failure to respond to the conduct of Singapore and its predecessors, that by 1980 (when the dispute crystallized) sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh had passed to Singapore. The Court thus concludes that sovereignty over Pedra Branca/PulauBatu Puteh belongs to Singapore.

Sovereignty over Middle Rocks and South Ledge

Malaysia claims that the two maritime features have always been under Johor/Malaysian sovereignty while Singapore's position is that sovereignty over the features goes together with sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh.

With respect to Middle Rocks, the Court observes that the particular circumstances which led it to find that sovereignty over Pedra Branca/PulauBatu Puteh rests with Singapore clearly do not apply to Middle Rocks. It therefore finds that original title to Middle Rocks should remain with Malaysia as the successor to the Sultanate of Johor.

As for South Ledge, the Court notes that this low-tide elevation falls within the apparently overlapping territorial waters generated by Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh and by Middle Rocks. Recalling that it has not been mandated by the Parties to draw the line of delimitation with respect to their territorial waters in the area, the Court concludes that sovereignty over South Ledge belongs to the State in the territorial waters of which itis located.

Composition of the Court

The Court was composed as follows:

Vice-President Al-Khasawneh, ActingPresident in the case; Judges Ranjeva, Shi, Koroma, Parra-Aranguren,Buergenthal, Owada, Simma, Tomka, Abraham, Keith, Sep๚lveda-Amor, Bennouna, Skotnikov; Judges ad hoc Dugard, Sreenivasa Rao; Registrar Couvreur.

Judge Ranjeva appends a declaration to the Judgment of the Court; Judge Parra-Aranguren appends a separate opinion to the Judgment of the Court;J udges Simma and Abraham append a joint dissenting opinion to the Judgmentof the Court; Judge Bennouna appends a declaration to the Judgment of the Court; Judge ad hoc Dugard appends a dissenting opinion to the Judgment ofthe Court; Judge ad hoc Sreenivasa Rao appends a separate opinion to the Judgment of the Court.

A summary of the Judgment appears can be download from below:

Pictures taken from:

Further reading: my/letters_ others/icj_ s_press_release_ on_pedra_
http://asia. com/080523/ 5/singapore34959 2.html
http://asia. com/080523/ afp/080523114730 asiapacificnews. html,_South_China_Sea

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Through a Rapist's Eyes (No Joke)

This is important information for females of ALL ages.

When this was sent to me, I was told to forward it to my lady friends, but I forwarded it to most everyone in my address book. My men friends have female friends and this information is too important to miss someone. Please pass it along!

A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:

1) The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle.They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun, braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed . They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.

2) The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look forwomen who's clothing is easy to remove quickly . Many of them carry scissors around specifically to cut clothing.

3) They also look for women on their cell phone , searching through their purse, or doing other activities while walkingbecause they are off-guard and can be easily overpowered.

4) Men are most likely to attack & rape in the early morning, between 5:00a.m. and 8:30a.m.

5) The number one place women are abducted from/attacked is grocery store parking lots . Number two: is office parking lots/garages. Number three: is public restrooms.

6) The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to another location where they don't have to worry about getting caught.

7) Only 2% said they carried weapons because rape carries a 3-5 year sentence but rape with a weapon is 15-20 years.

8) If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouragedbecause it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn't worth it because it will be time-consuming.

9) These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas , or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands. Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you're not worth it.

10) Several defense mechanisms he taught us are: If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it, or make general small talk: 'I can't believe it is so cold out here,' 'we're in for a bad winter.'Now you've seen their face and could identify them in a line-up; you lose appeal as a target.

11) If someone is coming toward you , hold out your hands in front of you and yell STOP or STAY BACK ! Most of the rapists this man talked to said they'd leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an EASY target.

12) If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes) , yell I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY and holding it out will be a deterrent.

13) If someone grabs you , you can't beat them with strength but you can by outsmarting them If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm (between the elbow and armpit) OR in the upper innerthigh VERY VERY HARD. One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands - the guy needed stitches. Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it - it hurts.

14) After the initial hit, always GO for the GROIN. I know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy's parts it is extremely painful. You might think that you'll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble and he's out of there.

15) When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible . The instructor did it to me without using much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.

16) Of course the things we always hear still apply. Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you canand if you see any odd behavior, don't dismiss it, go with your instincts!!!

You may feel a little silly at the time, but you'd feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

2.Learned this from a tourist guide in New Orleans . If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM . Toss it away from you....chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3.If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won't see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4.Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc.) DON'T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.

a. If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF, repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot or parking garage:

A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat.

B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.

IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!)

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control,ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times. And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, preferably in a zigzag pattern!

8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP! It may get you raped or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well-educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked 'for help' into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

9. Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told her 'Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.' The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, 'We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.' He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it , but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night.

Please pass this on and DO NOT open the door for a crying baby ----This should be taken seriously because the Crying Baby theory was mentioned on America's Most Wanted this past Saturday when they profiled the serial killer in Louisiana.

I'd like you to forward this to all the women you know. It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle. I was going to send this to the ladies only, but guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc., you may want to pass it onto them, as well.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Dont pump full tank of petrol

Attention: Car Owners

Many of us are not aware that the petrol kiosk pump has a return pipe-line (in purple colour). When the petrol tank (in the car) reaches the full level, there is a mechanism to trigger off the pump latch and at the same time a return-valve is opened (at the top of the pump station) to allow excess petrol to flow back into the sump. But the return petrol has already pass through the meter, meaning you are donating the petrol back to the petrol kiosk!!

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Phishing for trouble

When you get an e-mail warning of a problem with your account, ignoring it can save you from being conned.

Once you are in the phisher’s net, he or she tricks you into giving away valuable information. — Filepic

There is an old Father Brown story that tells of how master thief Flambeau repaints the doors and gates along an entire street in order to fool a messenger into delivering a valuable parcel to his house instead of to the proper address on the next road. Today’s, thieves are still pulling the same scam – but online.

Phishers (pronounced “fishers”) create websites that look just like the one from your bank, online bookstore, or other familiar destinations. They then get you to visit their fake website by sending you an e-mail, SMS, or instant message that contains a link.

If they are imitating your bank, the link will have your bank’s name in it. If they are imitating your favourite betting portal, it will look like the proper address.

If you click on it, you are transported to the fake website, set up to look familiar.

Once you are in the phisher’s net, he or she will trick you into giving away valuable information.

If the phisher is local, they may fake you into giving up your bank account number and ATM password. By the time you realise what’s happened, they’ve raided your bank account.

If the phisher prefers the anonymity of plastic cash, they may imitate an online shop to get you to place an order with your credit card. When you fill out the form to take advantage of that “bargain”, they capture your name, address and credit card details.

The phisher can now go on a spending spree – and have you pay the bill!

Finding yourself broke and in debt isn’t the worst that can happen either. Criminal organisations look to get as much information as they can from you so they can fake your identity. Selling these details to illegal immigrants, crooks and even terrorists is big business.

UK citizen Simon Bunce was arrested four years ago after an ID fraudster used his credit card details on a child porn website. Fortunately, Bunce could prove that someone in Indonesia was using his credit card details in Jakarta at a time he was in the UK.

But because it took months for these details to be discovered, he lost his job and was ostracised by family and friends.

Phishing was first reported way back in 1987 but the term is only now becoming generally understood, thanks to the booming popularity of the Net for banking, shopping and other transactions.

PayPal announced it blocked 50 million phishing-related e-mails between Oct 2007 and April this year, but nobody knows exactly how big the problem is.

Reporting is complicated as phishers work across borders, and many victims never connect their online activities with subsequent problems, like their bank accounts being raided or their passports being faked.

In addition, fraud is now so common, that companies and law enforcement agencies in many countries don’t even bother following up on what they consider “small cases”.

Spotting the phisher

Typical phishing messages have headers that spell trouble such as: “Your eBay account suspended”, “Billing issues” and “Payment problem notification”. It looks something like this:

Dear Member,

This e-mail was sent by our bank server to verify your e-mail address. You must complete this process by clicking on the link below and entering in the small window your bank ATM/Debit Card number and PIN that you use on ATM.

This is done for your protection - because some of our members no longer have access to their e-mail addresses and we must verify it.

To verify your e-mail address and access your bank account, click on the link below:

Phishers often imitate banks, eBay and PayPal: any group that will have your personal and banking details.

But there is no limit as to who they will impersonate.

In Australia in April this year, phishers used the name of the New South Wales Police Force’s fraud squad commander to con citizens into believing they were being targeted by identity theft rings. The victims who fell into the trap handed their bank account details to “the commander”.

Phishing doesn’t just happen online either. As telephone systems connect to databases, thieves take advantage of auto diallers and computer software to sweep whole districts for victims.

A popular scam starts with an automated phone call, where a “court officer” claims you are required to testify in a fraud/theft/money laundering investigation.

If you have a question, the recorded message states, you should press 0 and ask the operator for assistance.

Understandably, many people panic at this point and follow the instruction. They are then transferred to a “call centre” where a “court officer” demands their name, address, IC number, bank account details . . . every little personal detail the phisher can use to fake your credit card, bank book, passport and other important paperwork.

So what can you do to protect yourself?

Here are some general tips to keep in mind:

  • Think twice before handing out your IC number, passport or bank details – online and offline. Ask where this information will be stored and who will be sharing it.
  • If you receive e-mail, an SMS or a phone call asking for personal or financial information, confirm it is legitimate with a phone call to the bank or a personal visit to the offices.
  • Companies rely on e-mail to answer customer questions, send you adverts or information about promotions, but they will never ask you for account or personal information via e-mail. They know it’s too risky.
  • Spoof e-mail usually contains dire warnings to make you panic.
  • Never use a link in an e-mail, SMS, or instant message to get to your bank, eBay page etc. Go to the site by using your browser.
  • If you bank or shop online, keep a close eye on your account. Report unusual activity immediately.
  • Most false e-mail messages are addressed to the general public. Some may contain user names, the bit that appears before the @ in your email address, but they seldom contain your real name.
  • The golden rule: only give out sensitive information online when a secure transaction is offered. Never send sensitive information via e-mail, SMS etc!

The bottom line is to be super-cautious. If in doubt, follow your gut feeling and say no!

About secure transactions

When data is sent from one computer to another on the Internet, every other computer in between has an opportunity to see what’s being sent.

So when you give out sensitive information online like your IC or credit card number, check that you are offered a secure transaction.

Secure transaction sites use encryption software to scramble your personal information. This means nobody can read it except for the proper recipient.

(Note: Most online companies like Air Asia and let banks and other professional security bodies handle their online transactions so they don’t actually see your credit card information at any stage. All they get is confirmation that you have made the payment.)

When you are offered a secure transaction, you’ll get a pop-up notice in your browser. When you click through, an icon of a padlock and key will appear at the browser window. If it is closed, it means the page is protected. But, if the lock is open or broken, it means any information you give is not protected.

After you have filled out the form, always print out a copy of your order and confirmation number for your records.

Report it!

Report suspicious, malicious or criminal activity online and learn more about online scams and problems plaguing users in Malaysia by visiting MyCERT:

Malaysian Computer Emergency Response Team (MyCERT)CyberSecurity MalaysiaLevel 7, SAPURA@MINES7, Jalan TasikThe Mines Resort City43300 Seri KembanganSelangor, Malaysia (03) 8992 6969 or 019-266 5850 (24/7 call incident reporting)SMS: 019-281 3801 (24/7 SMS reporting)Fax: (03) 8945 3442 (monitored during business hours)E-mail:

Useful web sites

Get Safe Online

– A UK consumer organisation offering tips on how to keep your PC, your personal data and your family safe while enjoying the bounties online.

– Explains why those fake e-mails look so good and offers a list of well-known phishing exploits.

Saturday May 10, 2008

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Hong Ming-Umi commercial wins three ANDY awards

KUALA LUMPUR (Malaysia): The TV commercial entitled Tan Hong Ming, conceptualised and directed by local advertising creative director and filmmaker Yasmin Ahmad, has won three awards (two gold and one bronze) at the 2008 International ANDY awards in New York.

The commercial has in total won 13 awards worldwide, after making its mark in March at the Asia Pacific Advertising Festival in Pattaya, Thailand, and at the 29th Malaysian Advertising Awards last November.

The commercial was one of a three-part TV campaign in conjunction with Merdeka 2007 for Petronas, produced by Leo Burnett Advertising Sdn Bhd. It was Leo Burnett’s headquarters in Chicago that entered the commercial for the ANDYs.

“I had no idea they had entered it. I was surprised when I received a phone call from a Japanese director friend telling me that I had won three awards at the ANDY awards,” she said yesterday.

The commercial is a cute little vignette about a little Chinese boy, Hong Ming, who has a crush on his Malay schoolmate, Umi Qazrina.

Picture of innocence: Yasmin standing against the backdrop of her ‘Tan Hon Ming in Love’ commercial grab in this file picture.

Yasmin recalled that the commercial was not at all difficult to shoot. “A month before the shoot, we contacted the schools in the Klang Valley to set aside students aged between seven to nine whose best friends are from another ethnic group. Out of 46 students, eight stood out – Hong Ming was one of them.”

She had a 15-minute reel of Hong Ming telling her of his crush on his best friend, Umi, which was filmed at Hong Ming’s school in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

“People see advertisements as a nuisance, but with Petronas’ Merdeka ads they have become something to look forward to,” she said.

Yasmin admitted that this particular ad has cut through all kinds of barriers, because the two are so real.

“I had lunch with Hong Ming recently and he said his schoolmates still tease him about the ad.”

And yes, Hong Ming and Umi are still best friends.

By MUMTAJ BEGUM - TheStar Online, May 6th, 2008