Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Granite Exports To Spo’re
More Companies Involved?

The on-going exports of granite and quarry dust to Singapore, believed to have started since two months ago, are being licensed by the government of Malaysia.

Sources told here today, the exports were being carried out by more than three companies, including some which were linked to a few prominent listed entities in the country.

This blog had earlier reported that “granite and quarry dust totaling approximately about 1.8 million metric ton were allegedly being exported to Singapore since two about months ago.” [please read Tuesday, May 8, 2007 posting: Export Of Sand To Singapore Is Banned, Export Of Granite-Quarry Dust Allowed?]

The latest information now leads us to more questions as to why exports of granite and quarry dust [also known as granite chips] to Singapore are allowed by the Malaysian authorities while exports of sand to the same country are being banned since 1997?

Is it because the Malaysian licensing authority [in this case it is said to be the Ministry of International Trade and Industry] which issued the export permits does not categorize granite and quarry dust as materials used for land reclamation works?

Mika Angel-0, a regular surfer to this blog, said “the technical term” for materials used in land reclamation “is hydraulic fill. They can be marine sand, quarry dust or sand with the right silt and fines content, 30 per cent or less.”

He also said “if the [current] ban is [only] on a specified material, then that is the loop-hole that has to be closed, if not tightened.”

So, what is the government going to do now? Is it not the most opportune time for Malaysia to revise this technical term - hydraulic fill - so it will also cover granite and quarry dust used for land reclamation in Singapore?

Is the government going to continue its silence over this hydraulic fill issue and contributes to the enlargement of Singapore - double of its current size - in the next 20 to 30 years?

Is the government aware that Indonesian authorities are now reviewing the term hydraulic fill to cover even granite chip or quarry dust? More info about this please read here:

Is the government ready to encounter marine border problems with Singapore in the distant future resulting from land reclamation works on the island republic which uses hydraulic fill from Malaysia?

For more background readings related to his posting please click here:

- Ruhanie Ahmad


Mika Angel-0 said...


just as i feel the blushes; i love this two paras:

Environmentalists say marine ecosystems and habitats have been irreparably damaged by uncontrolled sand extraction, which has also led to the disappearance of a number of tiny islets in the province of Riau, 800km northwest of the Indonesian capital. The province is the main source of sand used to produce cement for Singapore's construction sector and coastal reclamation projects, which require an estimated 1.5 to 2 billion cubic meters of sand every year.

The legitimate sand is first sold to international brokers, at about S$1.50 (65 US cents) per cubic meter, who then mark it up to Singapore construction firms at S$20 (US$13). Analysts predict the price of sand could shoot up to S$50 per ton or more because of the ban, with an ensuing increase in overall construction costs.

can i change my citizenship, i wonder. hmmm, US50@m3. that is for now at present oil price.

who cares about the enviro, YB?

better yet, time to call malacca my second home. melaka is like penang. (pulau bessor pun dekat - boleh tunggang tebalik di hotel on the north side. bukan nak pi belakang pulau: irreparable damage confirmed. buat apa - makam dah kosong, babe! blue eye boy punya hal - yang ada setan macam saya. makam W9 nasib baik terpelihara mahupun 777 masih ada)

domo arigato ghozaimasu, YB Ron san.(bertuah pura-pura jadi student di Kampus Shah Alam)
Alhamdulillah dan salaam.

Mika Angel-0 said...

lupa saya, YB.

at what price of 'sand' will the singaporeans come in to johor and participate willingly in the positive development of WPI?

the exporters should price their oreo chips just below the max for max profit. sekejap ada sekejap takde; then the price will reach S$80-90.

Alex said...

Myanmar offers Singapore sand to ease shortage
Wednesday, April 4 2007 12:36(IST)

Singapore, Apr 4: Myanmar said it could be a long-term supplier of sand and granite to Singapore, helping to ease a supply shortage in the city-state's booming building sector after Indonesia banned sand exports.

Indonesia's ban, imposed on environmental grounds, soured ties with Singapore as it pushed up construction costs just as the island's property market was recovering after years in the doldrums.

Myanmar has said it could help supply construction materials long-term and it would encourage Singapore firms to invest there, Singapore's Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a short statement issued late yesterday.

Stung by the Indonesian ban, which halted a stream of barges carrying sand from nearby islands, the construction industry in Singapore has been looking as far afield as China, Cambodia and Vietnam to keep its concrete mixers churning.

Singapore's Foreign Affairs Minister, George Yeo, is on a two-day visit to military-ruled Myanmar, which faces Western sanctions because of its poor human rights record.

Singapore defends continuing ties with Myanmar, a fellow member of the Association of South East Asian Nations, saying it is better to engage than ostracise the regime.

There have been fears in Singapore that Indonesia would also halt granite exports after it detained last month 24 tugboats and barges carrying granite chips to the city-state.

But Indonesia's Trade Minister Mari Pangestu has said Indonesia would continue granite exports so long as the source of shipments was verified to guard against environmental damage.


Alex said...

I think it is only a matter of how much SIngaporeans are willing to pay for their sand.

Not only Myanmar are willing to supply long term sand as much as SIngapore wants in exchange of helping them to go industrilization and investments, Phillipines, Vietnam as well as China are willing to sell sand, granite, etc.

A matter of increased price due to longer distant and higher freight.

cyberprince said...

Saudara Mika-Angel-O
Saudara Alex

From my random reading,there are two strategic reasons why the Indonesians banned exports of sand and granite to Singapore.

1. Environment: Little islans might disappear from the face of the earth.

2.Future marine border problems. As Singapore grows bigger in size, its marine boundry also streches further, but nearer to the Indonsian region,especially in the Rhiau Islands.

As for continuous supplies of sand and granite from the ASEAN region and China, well and good for Singapore.

But, the expansion of Singapore through reclamation will definitely affect two of its immediate neighbors - Malaysia and Indonesia.

So, how do we go about avoiding this future border problems? Are ther any provisions in the International Law of the Sea regarding such problems?

Malaysia and Indonesia can ban sand and granite exports to Singapore. But, the rest of ASEAN countries?

I am of the opinion that Malaysia and Indonesia have to form a loose working committee about this, try to make the rest of ASEAN countries understand why they should refrain selling sand and granite to Singapore for reclamation works,and possibly both countries too have to engage experts on International Law of the Sea to study the possible problems and come out with solutions to overcome them.

Otherwise, we may see endless problems resulting from Singapore reclamation works.

Thank you.


Alex said...


I do not belive your proposal will work. Countries like Myanmr, Vietnam, China etc simply will not do Malaysian and Indonesian bidding. They have their good political and economic relationship with Singapore to think about.

The notion that reclaimation works will somewhat extend Singapore territory is a false premise. Even the Indonesian military does not think so as mentioned below:-

Batam (ANTARA News) -Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Slamet Soebijanto said the sea boundary between Indonesia and Singapore is still based on the old convention, although the neighbouring country has been expanding its territorial land to the south by its land reclamation project.

"The sea boundary between the two countries has already been set. The position of the sea boundary will never reduce the territorial waters of Indonesia although the ongoing land reclamation by Singapore has caused an expansion of its territorial land to the south," he said after inspecting a radar in Bengkalis, on Wednesday [ 21 Feb].

Slamet further said that although Singapore's territorial land and expanded to the south by the reclamation project, the sea boundary between the two countries would not be affected.

The two countries referred to a case study on Indonesia and Singapore. Chapter 47, point (1) of UNCLOS, stipulated that an archipelagic country is entitled to set its archipelagic baseline as the basis of border of its territorial waters from the outer islands.

"There is no problem in determining the old archipelagic baseline and we will hold negotiations on the subject," he cited.

Each country has 12 miles of territorial waters from the coastal line.

(c) 2007 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.

Source: BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific

cyberprince said...


Thank you for sharing your thought here in this blog.

Even if what you said is correct, it is better if we think ahead and move proactively.