The Sultan of Johore has been upset over the loss of the island to Singapore.He has already received the interim report of the task force on the island. Meanwhile, the fact that Mahathir had walked out on being heard by the task force has upset some Umno leaders.
The former prime minister Najib Tun Razak said that Mahathir should have been a “jantan” to appear before the committe chaired by none other than Apandi.
It was Mahathir who fired Apandi after he became the prime minister in 2018. Why should he appear in from of the person he sacked seems puzzling. The task force has no legal standing nor it has any enforcement powers.
As I have earlier said, Mahathir did the right thing of walking out of the hearing. There was no reason why he should appear before the panel to condemn himself.
Some of its senior leaders might be jailed in the future. Umno leaders in Johore particularly the newly minted Menteri Besar Hafiz Onn and the speaker Puad Zarkashi are crying for blood over the loss of Pulau Batu Putih.
While Hafiz threatened legal action against those responsible for the loss of the island, Puad has said that he would sue Mahathir. As though, Mahathir will be cowed over these threats.
But unfortunately, the Johore Umno leaders are trying to be heroes in the anticipation of the GE15. Maybe it is about time they did some research as to who was responsible for the loss of the island to Singapore in 2008.
Since the application to the ICJ was a joint one, Malaysia had no choice but to accept the verdict. Malaysia appealed but there was a slight chance it could succeed.
It would make sense for the gung-ho Umno leaders like Hafiz and Puad to re-examine the state’s history in relation to the controversial rock island of Pulau Batu Putih.
If the concept of Terra Nullis (notion of non-habitation) could not even be refuted in the legal arguments before the ICJ, I wonder about the seriousness of the Malaysian legal team.