Thursday 10 July 2014

Singapore probably scared of Johor too

Apparently, even the Singaporeans were a bit scared of what's happening in Johor.

Here is the story I took from Channel News Asia,

Singapore to independently assess impact of Johor reclamation projects

SINGAPORE: Malaysia has provided Singapore with some general information on the two reclamation projects along the Straits of Johor, said Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Masagos Zulkifli in Parliament on Wednesday (July 9), and the Government will assess the information and conduct its own studies to see how the projects will impact Singapore. 
Singapore had raised concerns on the potential transboundary impact, with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan highlighting the issue with their Malaysian counterparts.
The concerns come amidst reports that no environmental impact assessments were conducted. Mr Masagos said Singapore was not given prior information on these reclamation projects, and he highlighted some concerns.
The projects could increase the strength of the currents in the Straits of Johor, potentially affecting navigation safety. It could also result in the erosion of the seabed and foreshore defences that support the infrastructure of the Second Link between Singapore and Malaysia. It may also affect the water quality along the Straits, impacting the coastal and marine environment as well as the fish farms in the area.
Mr Masagos said Malaysia provided some preliminary information on the two projects on June 30. It also promised to share all other information, including environmental impact assessments, once internal processes are completed.
"Malaysia has stated that no reclamation works are currently being undertaken on these projects and that it remains committed at fulfilling its obligations under international law and will take all necessary matters to avoid any adverse transboundary impact," he said, adding that Singapore is seeking clarification on some of the information provided and waiting for more to come through.
Dr Lim Wee Kiak, MP for Nee Soon GRC, asked if there would be changes in the boundary lines of the two countries after reclamation is completed, and what the course of action would be if Malaysia decided to go ahead with the projects even if they had a potential environmental impact. 
Mr Masagos said it was premature to talk about any development at this stage. He said consultation and information exchange must be allowed to go forward before hypothesising, and that the boundary lines between the two countries do not change with any reclamation by either of the countries.


  1. since when they really concern abt environmental?
    Demolish tambak Johor and replace with bridge. Do that first to prove your concern on environmental.

    1. Well, Tun Dr. M already put in place plans and work initially started for the scenic bridge to replace our side of the causeway. Then KJ's daddy-in-law came and allegedly killed the whole thing. Have you been to Putrajaya, there's also a relic which was also killed, apparently the PM at that time 'saw a sea of red', and that apparently gomen got no money. Well, who spent big dosh of money for a soiree in Seri Perdana where there was a pic of a person's hand on Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh's shoulder. I thought muslim of Islam Hadhari cannot touch-touch one?

  2. Sing will be ok with it, providing they get their cut. Besides, a bit more reclamation and it will be a nice walk over to Sing rather than that congested causeway.

    1. Of course, especially when such total reclamation can kill Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar's Tanjung Pelepas Port. sing will like that one.

  3. Farms along East Johor Straits report fish mortality - 9 Feb 2014

  4. just reclaim till Singapore lah..
    who needs the selat now?

  5. You Ni dah Jadi Musuh Johor Ke??

    1. Itulah orang biasa Johor terbingung apabila Orang Besar buat kerja semacam "blur sotong" - tak ada tata tertib, usul periksa, bertanggung jawab atas perkara dan manusia yang terlibat dalam projeknya. Boss main goldkeeper saje.

  6. Its a yes yes for Singapore to reclaim but a no no for Johor? Malaysia cannot demolish the causeway on her side but remember it was Johor that financed the building of the causeway the most in 1920.

    1. JalanStraitsview11 July 2014 at 13:11

      International law can be so inconvenient, can it not?

      Why, it even stymied Dr Mahathir's plans for a "crooked bridge"!

      And let's not forget the Pulau Batu Putih/Pedra Branca case when Malaysia and Singapore faced off in the ICJ.

      We all know how that turned out, don't we?

      So, when will our A-G put out an opinion on these projects in Johor and whether the proposed reclamation works in the Strait of Johor complies with international law?

      Because I am sure that the Singaporeans are already doing their homework on this!

    2. I think that the Johor state government got blindsided on these projects.

      Why is anybody's guess.

      Perhaps it's time for the federal government to relook at the raison d'etre for Iskandar Malaysia.

      Was Iskandar's key selling point all along the close proximity to Singapore?

      If that is the case, it is the project's Achilles heel.

      Because foreign investors contemplating investing in Iskandar would hold back and see if Singapore investors are committing to investments in the zone.

      That may be overreaching, but the direction for Iskandar is not clear.

      For example, what are the synergies between Iskandar Malaysia and Johor Bahru?

  7. High time the name Iskandar Malaysia be changed to 1-scandal Malaysia.


    Singapore accused of launching 'Sand Wars'

    Singapore has been accused of launching a clandestine "Sand War" against its neighbours by paying smugglers to steal entire beaches under the cover of night.

    By Barney Henderson in Kuala Lumpur

    6:56PM GMT 12 Feb 2010

    The island city-state's size has increased by over 20 per cent since the 1960s and demand for sand for lucrative land reclamation and development projects is higher than ever.

    However, recent bans on exporting sand introduced in Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam have cut off supplies and opened up a thriving smuggling trade.

    Thieves have begun making night-time raids on the picturesque sandy beaches of Indonesia and Malaysia, carving out millions of tons of coastline and leading to fears of an imminent environmental catastrophe on a swath of tropical islands.

    Singapore's land developers are now pitted against environmental groups, who claim several of the 83 border islands off the north coast of Indonesia could disappear into the sea in the next decade unless the smugglers are stopped.

    "It is a war for natural resources that is being fought secretly," said Nur Hidayati, Greenpeace Indonesia spokesman. "The situation has reached critical levels and the tropical islands of Nipah, the Karimun islands and many small islands off the coast of Riau are shrinking dramatically and on the brink of disappearing into the sea.

    "The smugglers have no problem getting it into Singapore and these boats are rarely intercepted by customs boats or the navy. The supply is constant."

    Environmental activists claim sand smugglers visit the beaches of these islands during the night in small barges. They dredge the sand and then sail straight into Singapore port, where they sell it to international brokers.

    They claim that while smugglers, corrupt politicians and land developers are profiting from the illegal trade of sand, activists state the cost to the environment is irreparable damage.

    Mr Hidayati said: "The whole marine ecosystem in the areas where uncontrolled sand extraction is taking place is being destroyed – tropical fish species and barrier reefs are dying and the region's marine biodiversity is under threat."

    The smaller islands protect the larger islands from storms and tsunamis.

    There are also concerns that the ocean's currents are being diverted around Singapore's expansion into the sea, again affecting marine wildlife.

    The Singapore government has declined to comment but corruption has been blamed for much of the trade.

    Last month, 34 Malaysian civil servants were arrested for accepting bribes and sexual favours to facilitate sand smuggling to Singapore.

    The main motorway from Malaysia to Singapore was blocked for most of the day last Monday when 37 lorries loaded with sand were abandoned after their drivers learnt of a customs operation at the border.

    According to Malaysia's former prime minister, 700 lorries a day loaded with sand cross the border to Singapore.

    Dr Mahathir Mohamed claims corrupt officials are allowing the sale of sand – even from tourist hot spots like the island of Langkawi.

    "What these people are doing is selling a little bit of Malaysia, dig, keep digging Malaysia and give her to other people," he said.

    In Indonesia, an estimated 300 million cubic metres of sand is exported illegally every year.

    "Three years ago valuable sand sale was prohibited in Indonesia," said Syahrul Sampurnajaya, Director General of Foreign Trade, Indonesia. "Of course it (sand smuggling) is a big concern for us. Absolutely our military army is working to protect our environment. We are very concerned about large scale illegal sand mining causing environmental damage to our islands."

  9. The damage caused by Singapore's insatiable thirst for land

    Tom Levitt - 11th May, 2010

    While logging and deforestation has gained global attention the growing sand mining sector is being largely ignored. Fuelled by Singapore’s land and construction demands it is wreaking environmental destruction across south-east Asia

    The fast growing market for sand in south-east Asia, particularly from Singapore, is being linked to widespread damage to coastal ecosystems and fish stocks.

    The densely populated state of Singapore has expanded in size by more than 20 per cent since the 1960s by reclaiming vast amounts of land from the sea, in doing so becoming the world’s biggest importer of sand – 14.2 million tonnes in 2008.

    Most of its exports have come from neighbouring Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam but all three have now attempted to limit or ban exports of sand. With plans to expand its surface area by a further 7 per cent by 2020, Singapore is becoming increasingly reliant on another one of its neighbours, Cambodia, to meet its demand.

    Although Cambodia publicly maintains that it has banned sand exports, an investigation by the NGO Global Witness has estimated that 796,000 tonnes of sand with a retail value of US$248 million are still being extracted and exported to Singapore every year from just one province, Koh Kong.

    Ecological damage

    The extraction is coming at a significant environmental cost. Dredging reduces water quality by increasing turbidity, blocking sunlight and killing off plant life, including seagrass and coral. Sand extraction also disrupts natural sedimentary regimes causing increased erosion and greater flood risks. There have also been reports of significant declines in fish stocks.

    Campaigners are now worried that the rapid rise in sand mining activity in Cambodia could see the Koh Kong province in particular meet the same fate as Indonesia’s Riau Islands. Over-extraction there led to significant damage to coral reefs and entire islands disappearing, forcing the authorities to ban sand exports back in 2007.

    Cambodia’s Prime Minister, Hun Sen, did announce a ban on sand exports last year but Global Witness later found this only covered river sand and not seabed sand. It claims the sector is rife with corruption and largely controlled by individuals close to the ruling elite in the country. 

    Sand dredging licences, Global Witness maintains, are being allocated inside protected mangrove and seagrass habitats. Local newspapers have also reported villagers being attacked and killed during forced evictions from areas of increased sand extraction.

    ‘Ultimately the people who are reliant most on the natural resources will lose out: fishermen who are being evicted or seeing their stocks plummet from sand dredging boats coming through their catch area; and indigenous people,’ said Global Witness campaigner George Boden.


    1. As they say, it takes two hands to clap.

      What is the Malaysian Customs doing to stop lorries laden with sand from crossing to Singapore?

      Or to stop barges laden with sand from crossing the Straits of Johor to Singapore?

      Has the Johor state government or the federal government ever taken up the matter directly with the Singapore government?

      As they say, silence implies consent.

      Who is being silent here?

    2. U see, StulangLaut, when confronted with logic, these people go quiet.

      Par for the course.

  10. The hidden hand sending the sand into Singapore is the same hidden pushing the sand for the land reclamations at the tebrau straits.
    Can anybody say anything more.


    1. Ooh, Pak wak - why so coy, ah?

      Name names, lah, brudder!

      All these hint hint - tak guna, man!