Malaysia really does not sell sand to Singapore this time.
Sand is an important strategic resource for Singapore! As a little red dot with terribly scarce land, he has been desperately reclaiming the sea for many years, all he wants is sand!
This time the US Reuters reported that it was confirmed from an authoritative information source in Kuala Lumpur that Malaysia has indeed banned the export of sand to Singapore!
Actually, it is said that Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mahathir issued a ban on sand exports to Singapore in October last year, but the Malaysian side has never given a definite reason and has never Make it public.
▲Source: Xinhua News Agency
Be aware that 97% of Singapore’s imported sand last year came from Malaysia! Since Indonesia and Cambodia imposed bans in 2007 and 2017, Singapore has relied on Malaysian sand.
This trick is nothing short of a draw for Singapore! Singapore is one of the countries with the highest proportion of land reclamation in the world. Nearly 25% of the country's land is reclaimed!
▲The pink part is the part of land reclamation in Singapore, including the current Tuas, Jurong Island, Changi Airport, Marina Bay Financial District, East Coast Other places
When the nation was founded in 1965, Singapore’s land area was only 578 square kilometers, but now, Singapore’s land area has reached 721.5 square kilometers!
If there is no land reclamation, Gardens by the Bay and Sands Hotel will cease to exist!
Sand can also be used to build skyscrapers, used in water purification and beaches Conservation. Therefore, the importance of sand to Singapore goes without sayingAnd Yu, no wonder Singapore’s heart is affected.
There have long been rumors that Malaysia’s ban is only because Prime Minister Mahathir believes that sand export trade uses Malaysian land for its wealthy neighbor (Singapore) Expand territory.
The possible corruption in the sand trade may be one of the reasons why Mahathir implemented the ban five months after he took office.
Following the Reuters interview, after the incident was exposed to the spotlight for the first time, the reasons for Malaysia’s sand ban also reversed. Mahathir’s not because of " "Jealous" Singapore decided to implement the ban.
▲Source: Asian Correspondent
According to the Malay Mail, the sand export ban is more based on environmental factors.
According to the Malaysian authorities, sand mining destroys the local environment and negatively affects the ecosystem, biodiversity, and hydrological conditions of water bodies such as flow and size.
▲Sand mining operations have made coastal villages in some countries on the verge of extinction, source : Amnesty International
However, although Malaysia bans the export of sea sand, it will still export river sand to Singapore. However, river sand can only be used for construction materials, not for Land reclamation engineering services.
The history of land reclamation in Singapore
In 1819, during the colonial period, Sir Stamford Raffles opened the port of Singapore. Starting from designing Singapore as a British commercial port, he planned to reclaim the sea to build a port.
In 1822, he poached A hill in the Raffles area, a new port was built with sand and gravel. After that, the sea was continuously reclaimed throughout the 19th century...
Take the Tianfu Temple dedicated to Mazu, the god of the sea, for example. It was built in 1840. The map of Singapore’s urban area published by the British colonial government in 1843 shows that Tianfu Temple is right by the sea:
▲Photo taken from "The Pearl of the South China Sea-Tianfu Palace", Singapore Hokkien Assembly Hall Published in 2010
The road on the southeast side of the Tianfu Temple is now called Telok Ayer Road, which means "Bay Road" in Malay. It was the bay back then. In other words, today The financial district was full of clouds, let alone Gardens by the Bay, Sands Hotel, etc.
In 1In the landscape painting of JT Thomas, the surveyor of the British colonial government in 846, you can clearly see the Tianfu Palace by the sea.
In 1865, the colonial government began a large-scale reclamation project, the first phase It started in 1878 and was completed in 1885. After 7 years, the Wally MountainPart of it was leveled, the soil was used to fill the sea, and the nearby Mount Scotts (now known as Mount Anxiang) and Mount Erskine were also partially leveled.
From 1904 to 1915, the authorities carried out a second mountain shift The reclamation project leveled the remaining Wally Mountain and the surrounding hills, and part of Pema Mountain was also leveled.
In Singapore, there were still many hills, but they were all reclaimed mercilessly~ (Bukit Timah Shan shivered after hearing it...)
So now, Mazu really wants to see the sea, it’s hard!
From some place names in Singapore, it can be seen that the amount of land reclamation projects in Singapore is huge. For example, Bugis Junction in Bugis, the reason why it is called Baishafu , The legend is because when the tide was low, you could see the white sandy beach...
Taste the land reclamation projects in Singapore carefully, most of which are located in the southern coastline and surrounding islands, but not many in the north.
▲The black line is the dividing line between Singapore and Malaysia. The biggest territorial dispute between Singapore and Malaysia lies on the expansion of Deguang Island.
In 2003, Malaysia sued Singapore to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, claiming that Singapore “reclaimed the sea to make land and infringed on the land of other countries”. But in the end, the two countries negotiated reconciliation and jointly supervised the reclamation project.
In the future, Singapore plans to expand the land area to 766 square kilometers through reclamation and land reclamation in 2030. The financial districts of Tanjong Pagar, Changi, East Coast, Taxi and Jurong Island will further expand at the current stage. But maybe everything is now overcast.
▲Singapore's 2030 land reclamation plan, the dark red area is the future planned area , Source: Al-Jazeera
NewThe crisis faced by Singapore and its preparations
Singapore has always spared no effort to import sand. In a 2014 UN report, Singapore became The country that imports the most sand in the world.
Along with Singapore’s rising demand, the "sand crisis" is a "sword of Damocles" hanging over Singapore. When Mahathir took office for the first time in 1997, Malaysia stopped exporting sand to Singapore. (The export was resumed afterwards)
▲Singapore’s imports of sand from Southeast Asian countries in 2008-2017
But Singapore is not completely unprepared. Singapore currently has a lot of sand reserves. As early as a few years ago, the Singapore government called on the reclamation industry not to rely too much on imported sand.
▲ "Warehouse" of Singapore Sand Reserve, source: Twitter/Mia Bennett
At the same time, Singapore has also been importing sand from different countries. The Philippines, Myanmar, China and India are all sellers, which to some extent eases dependence on a single country.
▲China has a huge reserve of sand and gravel, but it is transported compared to Southeast Asian countries The cost may be higher.
However, the above methods are always a temporary solution but not the root cause. Singapore is now adopting polder technology to reduce sand consumption for land reclamation projects.
Traditional reclamation projects will build seawalls outside the coastline to enclose the areas that need to be reclaimed, and then fill the sea with soft soil and sand. The height of the reclamation area is basically the same as the height of the coastline and seawall.
The reliance on sand in reclamation projects lies in the fact that after sprinkling silt to form the bottom layer of an artificial land, dredging sea sand is an important part of the foundation of artificial land .
▲The process of sea sand blowing and filling, source: Beijing News
The polder technology is to build waterproof dams in shallow seas or inland lakes, and then pump out the sea or lake water to form land below sea level, also called polder.
▲The polder needs to improve the drainage system, and the maintenance and maintenance cost after completion will be higher than that of traditional reclaimed land. Source: HC Network
However, no matter how you reduce the amount of sand, you can’t completely eliminate it. So now, I still hope that Malaysia will resume sand exports to Singapore as before.p>
After all, 97% of imports rely on Malaysia, and Singapore really can’t afford it...
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