The Malaysian government has inaugurated a new maritime base approximately 500 m southeast of Pedra Branca, an outlying island under the jurisdiction of Singapore that Kuala Lumpur believes is part of its territory.
The installation – which has been constructed across two uninhabited features at the eastern opening of the Singapore Strait known as Middle Rocks – was inaugurated by the Sultan of Johor, Ibrahim Ismail bin Iskandar, on 1 August. Accompanying the sultan at the inauguration was chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), Admiral Ahmad Kamarulzaman bin Ahmad Badaruddin.
The maritime base’s construction was initiated as a national security project that seeks to secure Malaysia’s territorial waters, according to a video statement from the Sultan of Johor’s office. Facilities on the installation, which Malaysia refers to as the Abu Bakar Maritime Base, include a 316 m jetty, a lighthouse, and a helicopter landing pad.
Agencies expected to use these facilities include the RMN, the Malaysia Coast Guard, and the maritime component of the Royal Malaysian Police – all of which were represented by their respective senior officials during the inauguration ceremony.