KUALA LUMPUR – The Marine Geodetic Infrastructure in Malaysian Water (MAGIC) project, implemented since 2013, has helped to determine the country’s territorial boundaries and exclusive economic zone, as well as avoid trespassing into the country’s waters.
Director-General of the Department of Mapping and Survey Malaysia (Jupem) Datuk Ahmad Fauzi Nordin said the project was crucial to determine the country’s rights on islands and offshore entities, including reefs and sand banks, especially those located near the borders of neighbouring countries.
The implementation of MAGIC, costing RM24 million, also involved construction of monuments to indicate the area belongs to the country and Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) to gather data from the satellite for mapping purpose.
“The implementation of MAGIC is a follow-up to the issue on the sovereignty of Pulau Batu Puteh in 2008 when the cabinet decided that mapping be conducted on all islands belonging to the country to strengthen any claim, should there be any dispute,” he told Bernama here.
The International Court of Justice at The Hague, in the Netherlands, had in 2008, ruled that Pulau Batu Puteh, located on waters off Johor, belonged to Singapore.
Ahmad Fauzi said other countries, like Indonesia, had also taken the same move to keep their islands following the overlapping claim by the republic and Maslaysia on Pulau Ligitan and Sipadan.
The dispute was also taken to the ICJ and in 2002 it ruled that the islands belonged to Malaysia.
He said three CORS were set up on three islands in Sabah, namely Pulau Balambangan, Pulau Mataking and Pulau Layang-layang, to facilitate the implementation of MAGIC.
“CORS are active stations and they can receive data and signal to determine our location through satellites which are known as Satellite Navigation or Positioning Satellite,” he added.
On the building of monuments, Ahmad Fauzi said 23 monuments were built during the last two years, with the first one at Beting Patinggi Ali, Sabah.
Seven others are under construction, he added.
He said the first phase of MAGIC (2013-2014), costing RM14 million, involved nine areas in the country’s international waters in Sabah, namely Beting Patinggi Ali, Pulau Layang-layang, Terumbu Laya, Terumbu Ubi, Terumbu Matanani, Terumbu Siput, Terumbu Peninjau, Pulau Mataking and Pulau Bakkungan Kecil.
The second phase costing RM10 million, being implemented this year, covers seven areas, also in Sabah, namely Pulau Lankayan, Terumbu Mangsi Besar, Pulau Mabul, Pulau Ligitan, Pulau Sipadan, Batuan Tangan and Terumbu Balung. – BERNAMA