KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s ban on sea sand exports is aimed at all countries, not just Singapore, said Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar.
He said the mining of sea sand is for local use and not export.
The government gives priority to the effects on the environment from such activities.
“When we (Pakatan Harapan) took over the government, we decided that sea sand would not be exported to any country, not just Singapore but any country.
“However, river sand can be exported with the approval of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“The policy has not changed,” he told reporters in the lobby of Parliament today.
Xavier was commenting on media reports yesterday that Malaysia, the biggest source of sea sand for Singapore, had banned the export of the commodity, a move which will curb the island republic’s expansion plans.
Xavier said the government’s decision would not affect Malaysia’s relations with any country. Singapore was free to import sand from other countries.
“Singapore can buy from any country which sells sand if it wants to carry out reclamation work. We have no right to stop any country from reclaiming land,” he said.
Asked if the move would affect the country’s revenue, Xavier said the income from the export of sand was very small.
“The revenue from the export of sand is very small and it goes to the state. The revenue to the federal government is only from tax imposed on the companies,” he said.