What is Pedra Branca?
The oldest feature on the island is the Horsburgh Lighthouse, which was built by the British between 1847 and 1851. Today, Pedra Branca also hosts a military rebroadcast station, a helipad, a desalination plant and a communications tower. Pedra Branca is also home to the keepers of Horsburgh Lighthouse.
To the south of Pedra Branca are two maritime features: Middle Rocks and South Ledge. Middle Rocks consists of two clusters of rocks situated 0.6 nautical miles south of Pedra Branca. South Ledge is a low-tide elevation (a feature that is submerged at high tide) further south, 2.1 nautical miles off Pedra Branca.
Beginnings of the Dispute
As the two sides were unable to resolve the matter through bilateral negotiations, both countries agreed to resolve their differences peacefully through a third party by bringing the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for decision. Singapore first proposed submitting the dispute to the ICJ in 1989. Malaysia accepted this proposal in 1994.