Case Studies

Government of the Republic of Singapore v. Government of Malaysia

Green pin on a map marking Singapore
  • Venue: Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague

This treaty arbitration between Malaysia and Singapore was heard at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. The Singapore government wished to get land back from Malaysia and repurpose it for recreation and other services to its population. The two countries established a treaty in which Singapore would swap some prime properties in the country’s growing business districts in exchange for the railroad land. After the exchange was completed, Singapore slapped Malaysia with a $1.1 billion development charge (essentially a tax) on the transaction. This had not been contemplated by the treaty and had never been discussed by the parties.

Our Role

Since the arbitrators were not from Singapore, we had to visually introduce them to the layout of the country and the location of the railroad. In addition, we needed to provide a simplified description of the impact of the development charge on both countries.

IMS | Z-Axis created an interactive map and railway tutorial which incorporated an accelerated video of the entire railway along with a map. The video could be played from beginning to end or areas on the map could be clicked in order to show that specific section of the video. The final piece was a simple pie chart showing the financial impact of the original treaty. The chart was also animated to show the financial impact if Singapore’s development charge was held to be valid.

Case Results

Our client, Malaysia, won the arbitration and the development charge was nullified.

*Note: This casework was originally designed and produced by Z-Axis, which joined with IMS in 2022.

Media Examples

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