Singapore is an island nation on the southern tip of the Malay peninsula. It is separated from Malaysia by the Johor Strait, a narrow, heavily trafficked commercial waterway utilized by both States. In 1927, the two States first agreed on a maritime boundary passing through the strait, following the thalweg of the waterway. The boundary extended for 48 nautical miles, falling short of tying into the tripoint with Indonesia at both entrances to the strait. The Agreement was signed during a period when the area was under the colonial rule of the United Kingdom.

In 1957, Malaysia gained its independence from the United Kingdom, and in 1965 Singapore was expelled from Malaysia, thus becoming an independent State of its own. In 1995, the two States redefined the boundary, still using the thalweg of the Johor Strait but with defined turning points referenced to a modern datum.

Malaysia and Singapore still have three sections of maritime boundary which remain to be delimited. Both sides of the Johor Strait boundary will need to be extended to reach tripoints with Indonesia. Additionally, following the International Court of Justice’s resolution of a sovereignty dispute between Malaysia and Singapore in 2008, the two States still need to delimit a maritime boundary separating Pedra Branca from maritime areas that pertain to Malaysia. Complicating any potential maritime boundary solution between Singapore (Pedra Branca) and Malaysia is the fact that islands pertaining to Indonesia are located nearby and have maritime entitlements that completely overlap those of Malaysia and Singapore.

Map showing the maritime boundary between Malaysia and Singapore

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