Limbang confusion

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The Borneo Bulletin is reporting that Brunei is denying that Limbang was discussed during talks between Abdullah Badawi and the Brunei Sultan on Monday.  Wisma Putra and the local media need to clarify what’s going on:

Brunei denies Limbang story

YB Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Awg Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II, yesterday said claims on Limbang were never discussed during Monday’s deliberations between Brunei and Malaysia.

He was responding to YB Dato Paduka Hj Puasa bin Orang Kaya Seri Pahlawan Tudin’s query on the contents of the “Letter of Exchange” signed between Brunei and Malaysia, which also touched on Brunei’s claims over Limbang at the Legislative Council meeting yesterday.

Pehin Lim said there were certain press reports yesterday claiming that Brunei has dropped claims over Limbang.

“In actual fact, the claim on Limbang was never discussed. What was discussed was the demarcation of land boundaries on the whole,” he said.

“The joint press statement issued yesterday mentioned that the demarcation of the land boundaries between the two countries will be resolved on the basis of five existing historical agreements between the Government of Brunei and the State of Sarawak, and, as appropriate, the watershed principle.

“After that a working group comprising general surveyors of the two countries will follow with the technical aspect to solve the land border issue,” Pehin Lim added.

Contrast the above with this Bernama report:

Brunei Drops Territorial Claim Over Limbang

From Hafizah Kamaruddin BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, March 16 (Bernama) — Brunei has officially dropped its long-standing territorial claim over Limbang, a northern division in Sarawak, marking a new era in the bilateral relations between both countries, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.

The prime minister said the matter was part of the historic Letters of Exchange (LoE) inked between him and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, which formalised the solution to the long-standing Malaysia-Brunei boundary issues, at the Istana Nurul Iman here Monday.

“It has been stated in the LoE that Brunei has dropped the issue and this means that Limbang is part of Malaysia,” he told a news conference with Malaysian journalists before heading home at the end of his two-day visit to the sultanate.

Check out Wisma Putra’s statement ahead of Badawi’s visit to Brunei here. No mention made of Limbang.

And, true to form, the first thing that Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud can think of is building yet another dam.

A delighted Taib said Brunei and Sarawak could now look forward to closer ties and cooperation.

He said Brunei could benefit from the proposed dam at Sungai Limbang for power generation, water supply and activities related to food security.

“The proposed dam can be considered as a way of strengthening the ties between both countries.”

The Taib family-owned listed company, CMS, is a major supplier of construction materials.

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