Singapore says it wasn’t briefed on Johor ship project

A model of the ship-to-ship transfer hub project in the Johor Strait. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Singapore today denied it has received information on a recently-launched ship-to-ship transfer hub project in the Johor Strait, despite Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad claiming otherwise.

In a brief statement by the republic’s foreign affairs ministry, Singapore said it was seeking more information from Putrajaya on the project, including its precise location as well as potential implications it has on bilateral ties and international obligations.

“Singapore has requested such information from Malaysia in order to assess its implications for Singapore.”

A few days ago, Mahathir said the country had addressed claims by neighbouring Singapore that the project, which will cost between US$150 million and US$180 million, was encroaching on its waters.

He said Putrajaya had clarified with the republic that the project — by KA Petra Sdn Bhd and Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd — is in Malaysian waters.

Malaysia and Singapore have been locked in a dispute over maritime boundaries, with Singapore pushing back in December against Malaysia’s move to extend the limits of the Johor Bahru port. It said the new boundary encroached on Singapore’s territorial waters, which Putrajaya disputed.

Last month, the two nations agreed to suspend all commercial activities in the overlapping zone between Johor Bahru’s port limits off Tanjung Piai and the Singapore port limits off Tuas.