JOHOR BARU: There is no danger of losing Pulau Pisang to Singapore as Malaysia clearly has sovereignty over the island.

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said that this was despite Singapore operating a lighthouse on the 154ha island.

He said the ownership of the island was based on a treaty between Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Abu Bakar and the British in 1900, which clearly stated that Malaysia had sovereignty over the island.

“Our land office records show that Pulau Pisang belongs to Johor,” he said.

Abdul Ghani was responding to a suggestion made by Pontian MP Ahmad Maslan that the Government should conduct a study on taking over the operation of the lighthouse.

Ahmad said Pulau Pisang might suffer a similar fate as Batu Puteh where the International Court of Justice ruled in favour of Singapore.

Abdul Ghani said the lighthouse, which guided ships into the Singapore Straits, was manned by four Singaporean guards.

“The guards are relieved by another team once a fortnight and are required to report to the marine department, Customs and immigration in Kukup every time they arrive and depart from the island,” he said.

He added that Malaysians were allowed to enter the island but were prohibited from entering the lighthouse.

Abdul Ghani said there were also 82 farmers who tend to orchards on the island.

“They are only given permission to work on the land but are not granted ownership of the land,” he said.

The island is about 12km from Pontian Kechil and 5km from Benut.

Meanwhile, Johor PAS officials lodged a police report against former foreign minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, Abdul Ghani and Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, accusing them of causing Malaysia to lose Batu Puteh.

Johor Baru (South) OCPD Asst Comm Zainuddin Yaakob confirmed that the report had been received.

Perak Puteri Umno chief Dr Wan Norashikin Wan Noordin, meanwhile, said Malaysia must take the necessary steps to ensure she irrefutably owned all her islands and territories.

She said the steps were crucial in view of the recent decision on Batu Puteh.

DAP chairman Karpal Singh said the Malaysian Government was “foolhardy to have placed the case before ICJ” without the necessary evidence.

He was referring to Malaysian ambassador-at-large Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Mohamad’s statement that he could not locate a letter sent by a British governor in Butterworth to the Johor Temenggong seeking permission to build the Horsburgh Lighthouse on Batu Puteh.

Abdul Kadir led the Malaysian team to The Hague.

“Discovery of the letter now or in future cannot restore Malaysia’s sovereignty over Batu Puteh,” he said.

Name: Pulau Pisang Light

Also known as: Banana Island Light

Nearest Town or City:
Pontian Kechil, Johor, Malaysia

Location: Island in the Strait of Malacca.

Managing Organization:
Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

Notes:
The island is in Malaysian territory, but under an agreement signed in 1900 with the Sultan of Johor, the Government of the Straits Settlements was granted the right in perpetuity to the plot of land on which the lighthouse stands and to the roadway leading to it, as long as the Straits Settlements operated the lighthouse. Today, that responsibility falls to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. The access of Singaporean workers to the lighthouse has been a subject of contention in recent years.

Tower Height: 53

Height of Focal Plane: 493

Characteristic and Range: White flash every 10 seconds, visible for 20 nautical miles.

Description of Tower: White, circular metal tower.

This light is operational

Date Established: 1914

Date Present Tower Built: 1914

Current Use: Active aid to navigation.