Malaysia – Singapore
airspace and territorial waters dispute
Malaysia and Singapore are currently locked in a dispute over airspace and territorial waters. The dispute started with the declaration by Malaysia, published in the Federal Gazette, of an alteration to the Johor Baru port limits. Singapore protested this move, claiming that it was done unilaterally.
At the same time, Malaysia said that it will not allow Singapore to implement the Instrument Landing System (ILS) and ILS Approach Procedures for Seletar Airport. Malaysia also wanted to reclaim its airspace in phases, which is managed by Singapore since 1974 under the Operational Letter of Agreement between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore Area Control Centres Concerning Singapore Arrivals, Departures And Overflight (LOA 1974).
Oct 25: The Attorney General's Chambers issued a Declaration of Alteration of Port Limits for Johor Baru Port in the Malaysian Federal Government Gazette.
Nov 5: Singapore issued a Third Person Note (TPN) for Malaysia to amend the gazette to reflect Singapore’s sovereignty over its waters.
Nov 11: Malaysia issued a port circular, showing the new port limits as mentioned in the gazette.
Nov 22: Malaysia issued a notice to mariners to alert the shipping community of the expanded Johor Baru port limits.
Nov 28: Malaysia told Singapore that it will not allow Singapore to implement the ILS and ILS Approach Procedures for Seletar Airport, located near Singapore’s border with Johor, as it will infringe Malaysia’s sovereignty and airspace. Transport Minister Anthony Loke also said that the ILS would affect development in Pasir Gudang as there would be height restrictions imposed on structures, and also affect shipping activities at the Pasir Gudang port.
Nov 29: Singapore issued a second TPN to protest against the notices put out by Malaysia.
Nov 30: Singapore published a circular instructing ship masters and owners of vessels to disregard Malaysia's gazette.
Dec 5: Malaysian Government sent two protest notes to the Singaporean Government through the Singaporean High Commissioner to Malaysia, one on
Singapore’s publication of the ILS and ILS Approach Procedures for Seletar Airport and the other on the ongoing maritime boundary delimitation issues between the two countries, including the new Johor Baru Port Limits and the recent incidents related to the matter.
Dec 7: Malaysia proposed to Singapore for both countries to “cease and desist” from sending assets into the disputed area starting from midnight on Dec 8, pending discussions on outstanding maritime boundary issues.