What is Pedra Branca?
Pedra Branca is an island that sits at the eastern entrance of the Straits of Singapore. It lies about 24 nautical miles to the east of Singapore.
Its location has long been of strategic importance to us as it commands the entire eastern approach to the Straits of Singapore, through which almost 900 ships pass daily.
The oldest feature on the island is Horsburgh Lighthouse, which was built on the island by the British between 1847 and 1851.
What is Singapore’s case with regard to Pedra Branca?
It is Singapore’s case that Pedra Branca belongs to Singapore because the British colonial government took possession of the island over 160 years ago to build Horsburgh Lighthouse and other structures on it. At that time, Pedra Branca was uninhabited and it belonged to no one.
Since then, Singapore has continuously and openly conducted acts of a sovereign nature over the entire island and its surrounding waters. In contrast, Malaysia did nothing and did not protest against any of the actions of Singapore.
In 1953, Johor stated in official correspondence with Singapore that it did not claim ownership over Pedra Branca. Malaysia also published a series of official maps from 1962 to 1975 depicting Pedra Branca as belonging to Singapore.
What are Middle Rocks and South Ledge?
Middle Rocks and South Ledge are two maritime features to the south of Pedra Branca. Middle Rocks consists of two clusters of rocks situated 0.6 nautical miles south of Pedra Branca. South Ledge is a low-tide elevation (in other words, it is submerged at high tide) further south, 2.1 nautical miles, of Pedra Branca.
It is Singapore’s case that sovereignty over Middle Rocks and South Ledge belongs to the country that has sovereignty over Pedra Branca.