Former envoy says Mat Zain’s claims on Batu Puteh “a load of rubbish”

(TMI) – A former Malaysian diplomat has rejected a suggestion that Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail deliberately lost the case over the ownership of Pulau Batu Puteh to Singapore at the International Court of Justice in 2008, reported The Star today.

Former Malaysian ambassador to the Netherlands Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin dismissed the claim by former Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigations Department chief Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim, one of many allegations contained in a Statutory Declaration (SD) he issued earlier this year.

“The contents of the SD are a load of rubbish by someone who obviously has not read the judgment nor understood it,” said Noor Farida, as quoted by the daily.

Contents of the 31-page SD has been widely reported by news portals and discussed by politicians.

Yesterday, five opposition MPs lodged separate police reports to call for an investigation of the claims.

Mat Zain among others alleged that hundreds of millions of ringgit had changed hands and were deposited into a Hong Kong bank account over Pulau Batu Puteh. He said Gani submitted a wrong photograph of the island’s location during the ICJ trial.

But Noor Farida argued that the decision of the ICJ, which awarded Singapore the disputed island, was not a loss for Malaysia since it gained Middle Rocks, a pair of uninhabited small rocks located south of Pulau Batu Puteh.

“The decision did not revolve around the photograph,” she said, referring to Mat Zain’s claim that the wrong photograph caused Malaysia to lose the case.

“I am puzzled by the allegations of bribery, which are nonsensical and totally without foundation.”