Monday, January 18, 2010

Tun Mahathir - Sand For Singapore

The still highly regarded former PM of Malaysia, Tun M by some quarters in Malaysia is insinuating something in this latest posting of his, titled 'Sand For Singapore' or rightly put, pointing his arrow at Singapore (sadly...again).

During his long tenure as the PM of Malaysia, he was the one who decreed ban on selling sand to Singapore and I strongly believe (coming from a layman's perspective), the decision was based on his personal dislike of Singapore than any valid reasons.

I now wonder wrong can it be for one country selling sand to another country solely based on commercial transaction, even for the sole purpose of land reclaimation by the 'land-scarce' country? Isn't it free economy supposed to work this way? Will the so called security from that 'selling country' be compromised or threatened as a result of losing some sand from the abundant supply? If jet engines can be sold by this sand selling country to another country on the sly, is this not considered a gross security breach of the country which can unsettle that country and even the region? Selling sand on the open and selling jet engines on the sly, which poses threat?

Meanwhile, read on the following posting by Dr M...

1. Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor remarked that everyday 500 trucks carry sand from Johor to Singapore. A friend told me that it is not 500. It is 700. That's a lot of sand.

2. I thought we had stopped selling lorry loads of our land to Singapore. But my friend explained that the sand is not sand. It is silica sand.

3. Singapore needs it to make microchips. I don't know how much sand goes into those tiny microchips. Must be a lot if they need 700 truck loads of sand a day.

4. Selling raw materials gives the least return. Better to add value by processing the raw material.

5. Cannot be that difficult to produce silica from silica sand. Glass factories do that (I think) all the time. And we do have glass factories in Malaysia. Why not produce the silicon wafers and sell them to Singapore?

6. I think someone is not telling the truth.

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