Mahathir Mohamad, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, said that Johor once owned Singapore and that Johor and Malaysia should claim Singapore, according to The Straits Times.
He also described Singapore as a Malay land (Tanah Melayu).
Speaking during a speech on 19 June, Mahathir said that “however, there is no demand whatsoever of Singapore. Instead, we show our appreciation to the leadership of this new country called Singapore.”
Mahathir said that the government of Malaysia deemed the control of the Sipadan and Ligitan islands more valuable after winning control over it at the International Court of Justice, while giving up the Pedra Branca island to Singapore, calling it “the size of a table”.
Mahathir added that “We should demand not just that Pedra Branca, or Pulau Batu Puteh, be given back to us, we should also demand Singapore as well as the Riau Islands, as they are Tanah Melayu”
He said that the Tanah Melayu used to stretch all the way from Southern Thailand to the Riau Islands, and Singapore.
But now, he added, it is confined to the Malay Peninsula.
Mahathir then further added that he “wonder(s) whether the Malay Peninsula will belong to someone else in the future.”