Singapore’s economy quite literally rests upon maintaining a huge and continuous supply of sand, and smuggling has become a multibillion-dollar trade, driving a huge web of corruption and theft in a country renowned for honest business practices and corporal punishment.
The tiny island nation, one of the 20 smallest states in the world, has enjoyed a phenomenal economic boom since the 1980s. In the space of only 30 years its population has doubled and its GDP has exploded by more than 1,000 percent (making it now the wealthiest country in Asia). Singapore’s economic success is largely based upon the phenomenal growth in its services industry.
The country has taken advantage of two factors: its ability to process silicon for use in microchips and electronics, and its positioning as a regional business hub within Asia, connecting industrial leaders and business executives from across the continent.
But the boom times have come at a cost. The country has, quite literally, run out of space.
Since Singapore’s independence in the 1960s, its land area has grown from 581.5 to 710 square kilometers. By 2030, the country plans to expand by another 70 square kilometers. That would see Singapore’s land area grow 30 percent from its original size, giving it the same area as New York City…
Sand pirates: Millions floated out of the country via Sungai Johor; The Star
Sand worth millions of ringgit is being illegally “floated” out of the country daily via Sungai Johor here. And this has been going on for the past three years…The probe revealed that the barges are directed towards a private jetty or landing point at Pulau Punggol Timur in Singapore where the sand is unloaded.