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Nipah Island's existence threatened NIPAH - Chairman of Commission of VII of the House of Representatives Agusman Effendi said the government should issue an instruction to forbid any kind of illegal sand quarrying on Nipah Island as it would threaten the existence of the most distant island marking the border with Singapore.

"Nipah island will be drawn to the brink of extinction if land mining on the island is allowed to continue. If the island ceased to exist, the Indonesian border will be smaller while Singapore's border area will be larger," Agusman told reporters when visiting the island, which is located in the Riau island group, on Sunday.

The Antara news agency in its report Sunday quoted Agusman as saying that the government must soon build an effective light house involving naval personnel to watch out for illegal sand quarrying in the area. Dedi told newsmen that the equipment they have to monitor the situation in the border area between Indonesia and Singapore were still inadequate as the government still cannot afford to buy radars and standard communication radios as well as speed boats to chase away foreign vessels violating Indonesian territory.

He said that Nipah island waters no longer have fish resources as the waters had become polluted by passing ships.

In the meantime, member of the House Commission VII Chofifah Indar Parawansa said the sand from Nipah Island is used by Singapore for reclamation purposes such as the building of new runways for its F16 jet fighters. Chofifah said the government has been too lenient in banning sand quarrying on Nipah Island.

"Unless the illegal sand mining is stopped, it is quite possible that the island which is the outermost mark of Indonesian territorial sea in the Malacca Strait will soon vanish," he said.



Posted in General @ 12 December 2005 08:33 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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