(Dec 6): Malaysia’s tiff with neighbouring Singapore over air space and port waters is escalating, a sign of renewed bickering not seen in years. First came Malaysia saying on Tuesday it wants to retake airspace in Johor from neighbouring Singapore in stages beginning end-2019. Singapore’s transport ministry responded by saying that both countries had an agreement dating back to 1974 that gave Singapore the right to provide air traffic services in the airspace above southern Johor.

The very same day brought a Singapore protest over Malaysia’s move to extend the limits of a port in Johor, the state bordering Singapore. The unilateral action encroaches into Singapore’s territorial waters, Singapore’s Ministry of Transport said.

On Wednesday, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad fired back, saying moves to extend the limits of the Johor port did not encroach into Singapore’s territorial waters. Malaysia “can measure” to see whether this is true or not, Mahathir told reporters, adding that Malaysia remained within its own waters. His transport minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook, addressing the same issue, urged Singapore to stop “harassing” vessels in Malaysian waters.

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