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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Did Singapore’s Reclamation Works Cause Kota Tinggi’s Drowning?

Today’s article in the NST indicates that the project could be a possible reason for the massive floods in Kota Tinggi.

It would be difficult to determine if this reclamation project is indeed the cause of the river not being able to discharge the flood waters as quickly as before unless we have evidence to show that the river’s mean velocity has indeed been reduced by the project.

It is basic science that if something is obstructing the flow of water, the flow will be affected but the actual quantum should be based on proper measurements studies on the change in the characteristics of the river.

The project commenced in 2002 and Malaysia took the case to the ITLOS in 2003 who ruled in Singapore’s favour with the agreement that “the recommendations of the experts would be used as the basis of a "mutually acceptable and beneficial solution". “

Our case to make this claim will be weakened if we did not do the following as soon as the project started:

• Monitor the water flow average velocity
• Measure the rate of silting along river course and mouth
• Size of the reclaimed island
• Changes in the tide

And correlate all the results. Of course presupposing that there had been no illegal logging further upstream.

We had at least one year to get monthly readings on these and other(?) data but did we provide ITLOS any data to support our complaints?

Now with the Kota Tinggi floods we start to point fingers again but what happened to the experts and their recommendations?

Otherwise a river widening and deepening project should have been a priority for the 9MP. Speaking of land reclamation works, the bridge to Permas Jaya gives a very good view of a major land reclamation works on the JB side. The massive clearing of the mangrove and major construction works here may also may been the cause of some of the floods.

graphics: thanks to the NST

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