KUALA LUMPUR — Johor’s crown prince has launched an attack on Putrajaya, denying Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s claim that a new shipping hub project at the Johor Baru port is public knowledge.
Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, in a Facebook post, said neither he, his father Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, Johor Chief Minister Osman Sapian nor the state government was aware of the project.
“Whoever says Johor is aware is lying. Anything within three nautical miles of the shores of the state — in particular, land and water matters — is the sole prerogative of the state.
[Note the limits of Johor's jurisdiction - 3 nautical miles.]
“Is Putrajaya trying to usurp the powers of the state?”
Attached with the post was an audio clip of Mr Osman telling reporters on April 1 that he did not know about the project.
In this regard, said Tunku Ismail, the federal government has acted unconstitutionally.
After the signing ceremony for the project on April 2, Dr Mahathir said: “The (chief minister) of Johor knows about this project. This project will benefit everyone. This project has been discussed over a long time.
“He (crown prince) is in Johor, many Johoreans know about this, and I am baffled he does not know.”
Malaysian company KA Petra and Hong Kong’s Hutchison Port Holdings signed the agreement, which involves providing services such as cargo transfer operations between vessels.
Tunku Ismail said another unconstitutional act by Putrajaya is regarding the ratification of the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute.
“The government signed the instrument without getting consent from the Conference of Rulers.”
He had previously criticised the move, as did Sultan Ibrahim, who warned Putrajaya that the treaty’s ratification violates the constitution.
[Related stories follow]
Malaysia launches project for ship-to-ship transfers in Strait of Johor, says not encroaching into Singapore watersApr 2, 2019
Malaysia Correspondent[So I'm picturing two ships sailing along, and little bumboats scurrying between the two ships carrying goods from one to the other... sort of like like what Somali (or Indonesian) pirates would do... Based on the activity, it would be hard to differentiate between a pirate attack, and a ship-to-ship transfer... wait! A pirate attack IS is ship to ship transfer! So... Malaysia is simply commercialising piracy skills... legitimately.]
PUTRAJAYA - Malaysia is developing a US$150 to US$180 million (S$204 million to S$244 million) project off Johor’s Port of Tanjung Pelepas to enable ships to transfer their cargo to other vessels without having to dock at the piers, in a move that officials say will allow higher shipping flexibility and cut costs for shippers.
The 1,200-ha facility, an area more than three times the size of Sentosa island, will be built in the Strait of Johor facing Tuas.
The project, in the Johor Baru port waters, is billed as the “world’s biggest” ship-to-ship (STS) transfer facility. It will be able to accommodate up to 30 vessels at one time.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad witnessed the project’s signing ceremony on Tuesday (April 2) in Putrajaya, involving Malaysian maritime services company KA Petra and Hong Kong-based port operator Hutchison Ports.
KA Petra on its website says ship-to-ship transfer involves “cargo transfer operations between 2 seagoing vessels, either while stationary or underway.”
The new hub will have man-made “dolphin” mooring structures to berth vessels without the need for piers or docks, and at lower costs for shippers.[But of course, what he deems as MY waters or SG waters is... contentious.]
Hutchison Ports, which will take a 30 per cent stake in the project, is among the biggest port operators in the world and owns a stake in Port Klang.
Tun Mahathir, asked at a news conference later, said the project won’t encroach into Singapore waters.
He also took a swipe at the Johor crown prince, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, who had posted on his Facebook claims by a non-governmental organisation that Johoreans did not know about the project, and that the federal government keeping the Johor state government in the dark.[So the maritime dispute with SG was supposed to be the announcement? The discussion? ]
“This project has been discussed over a long time. There were problems we had when Singapore said we are encroaching. We are not encroaching. We are in our waters and I think this is public knowledge,” he told a news conference after the signing ceremony.
[YouTube Video: PM 'puzzled' why TMJ unaware of upcoming JB ship-to-ship hub]
“So if people don’t know, well I don’t have to go around telling people one by one, do you know or not, do you know or not,” he said.[The problem with having been a dictator, and being used to being a dictator... SG is not aware or concerned or interested in MY's plans. Only insofar as MY has intruded in SG waters. We DO NOT CARE why MY has redrawn their port limits and intruded into SG waters. We ONLY CARE that they are intruding. And no, at no time was this reason given, NOT THAT this reason is valid or relevant or germane or pertinent to the issue. And in any case, SG has NOT conceded that MY's assertion of territorial limits is valid or legitimate. But it speaks to his arrogance (or dictatorial inclinations) that he thinks it is settled.]
“Singapore knows about this, they had contested (and) we had showed them that this is in Malaysian waters, not in Singapore waters,” he added.
The question about possible encroachment into Singapore waters was asked as Singapore and Malaysia are involved in a maritime dispute in the Strait of Johor, sparked by Malaysia’s decision to extend the Johor Baru port limits last Oct 25.
On Dec 6 last year, Singapore also extended its port limits to the full extent of its territorial waters.
The tense stand-off saw a promised turnaround in March, when both countries agreed to jointly suspend their overlapping port claimsas a step to begin talks to delimit the maritime boundary in the area.
But Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said on Monday (April 1) that two Malaysian government vessels remain anchored in Singapore territorial waters off Tuas, a fortnight after Singapore and Putrajaya jointly agreed to suspend the overlapping port claims.
JB shipping hub: Neither Johor govt nor royals consulted, says project owner03 April, 2019
KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian company KA Petra did not discuss with the government or royal family of Johor its plans to build a ship-to-ship (STS) hub in the waters off the Johor Baru port, according to a report by The Edge Markets.
Chairman of the marine services company undertaking the project, Mr Shahrul Amirul, said the hub was located in federal waters more than 3.5 nautical miles (6.5 km) from shore and was thus under the jurisdiction of the federal government.[Now the conspiracy becomes clear. In order to circumvent Johor's jurisdiction, the Ship-to-Ship transfer hub has to be more than 3 nautical miles from Johor's shore so that it falls under the Federal jurisdiction. But in order to do that they have to encroach into SG's territory. Any other person would consider that a significant setback and spanner in the works. But to a lawless, unethical, immoral thug like Mahathir, he probably saw egging SG as a bonus.]
“The governing authority in the area is Jabatan Laut,” he told the business daily.[Actually, no. The governing authority is personal ego. Mahathir's.]
KA Petra and Hong Kong’s Hutchison Port Holdings on April 2 signed an agreement on the STS transfer hub project to provide services such as cargo transfers between seagoing vessels.[A contract based on misrepresentation is non-binding. As are contracts based on factual errors, or fraud. I hope the reception at the signing ceremony had good food. Then at least the HK Hutchison rep would have had some good food. Cos, the agreement is not worth the paper it is printed on.]
News of the signing ceremony a few days prior drew the ire of the Johor royal family, drawing accusations from the crown prince on social media that local companies were sidelined and that the project had been given to Putrajaya cronies. Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim also said that the state had not been consulted.
This led to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad saying on April 2 that he had thought “everyone” would know about the project as it had been under discussion for a long time, even before he returned to government last year.
“The (chief minister) of Johor knows about this project. This project will benefit everyone. This project has been discussed over a long time. He (crown prince) is in Johor, many Johoreans know about this and I am baffled he does not know,” Dr Mahathir had said.
It was reported on April 3 that KA Petra has a 70 per cent stake in the project, with Hutchison holding the remaining shares.
Work will begin within the next 12 months with completion slated for 2021, Mr Shahrul said, adding that the Transport Ministry had “granted approval-in-principle” for the project.[I'm not so sure I completely understand, but if my understanding is correct, this Ship-to-Ship transfer would not require a pier or dock. So... this entire hub would be floating? So if MY loses the case over port limits and territorial waters, they can tow this hub to Port Klang.]
Construction costs will be in the range of US$150-180 million (S$203-244 million), according to preliminary studies.
Mr Shahrul said the project would be paid for with internal funds and debt financing, although the company had yet to work out the financing structure.
He said the STS hub and peripheral businesses would attract highly skilled Malaysians working abroad and help reverse the brain drain.[So further to my comment previously about how similar the skills required for Ship-to-Ship transfer are to piracy, is he admitting that many of the Indonesian pirates are actually Malaysians? Well, it is good that Malaysia is able to offer legitimate jobs to overseas Malaysians...]
The project spans 1,214.1ha in Johor Baru port waters, with storage facilities for more than nine million tonnes of petroleum products and 30 ship berths.
It will also be the “world’s first fully dedicated STS transfer facility”, he said.
On its website, KA Petra states it was established in 2008 and specialises in ship services including waste management, bunkering, cargo transfers between vessels (known as STS), and is a distributor of ship lubricants.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT