Will Malaysia's new evidence over Pedra Branca overturn ICJ verdict favouring Singapore?
-FILE PHOTO 06JAN03- The tiny island of Pedra Branca, where Singapore administers a lighthouse, sits at the entrance to the Singapore Strait about 30 km (19 miles) east of the city state and 15 km off peninsular Malaysia's southern coast on January 6, 2003. The jagged white, wind-swept rocks of Pedra Branca -- called Pulau Batuh Puteh by Malaysia -- which terrified sailors in southeast Asia for centuries is now at the heart of a bitter territorial row between Singapore and its larger neighbour to the north. Reuters

Malaysia filed new evidence in the International Court of Justice seeking a review of the court's 2008 decision to award Pedra Branca island to Singapore. Kula Lumpur submitted the dossier saying it's not an appeal against the ICJ verdict but an attempt at drawing the court's attention to the new set o evidence available.

Most of the new documents date back to the 1950s when Singapore was under colonial rule. The main elements of the dossier are a letter from the Singapore colonial administration in 1958, a map of the city from 1966 and reports about a naval incident in 1958, Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported.

Interestingly, in the latest claim, Malaysia seeks to raise exactly the same argument that decided the case in favour of Singapore in 2008. The ICJ verdict in favour of Singapore was based chiefly on a 1953 letter from the colonial administrating in Johor that stated that it had no claim over Pedra Branca island. Now, Malaysia has produced a similar letter written by Singapore's governor in 1958 saying the city did not consider the island was part of its territory.

"This application is not an appeal against the 2008 judgment. On the contrary, it draws to the court's attention what has only recently become known to Malaysia, namely, that even after the 1953 correspondence, and at a point at which Singapore had become a self-governing colonial territory, Singapore, at the highest levels of its government, did not have the view that it had sovereignty over Pedra Branca/ Pulau Batu Puteh," Malaysia says in the document, according to the SCMP.

"It is Malaysia's contention, informed by a close reading of the judgment in 2008 and its accompanying opinions, that the court would have been bound to reach a different conclusion on the question of sovereignty over Pedra Branca had it been aware of this new evidence," it added," the document further adds.

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said last week the government was closely following Kula Lumpur's move to seek a revision of ICJ judgment on sovereignty over Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge.

The spokesman said the judgment was "final, binding and without appeal." "Under Article 61 of the Statute of the ICJ, an application for revision of a judgment may be made only when it is based upon the discovery of some fact of such a nature as to be a decisive factor, and which was, when judgment was given, unknown to the court and the party claiming revision," he said, according to the Straits Times.

The latest developments reveal that Malaysia is seeking to re-open the case by presenting evidence which was not present at the time of the judgment.