Saturday, May 29, 2010

Singapore oil slick

Many parts of Singapore's beaches become tainted with the crude oil split by an oil tanker after its collision last week.

The relevant authorities are busy clearing the affected seas and shores of the oil slick and to restore the beaches and the affected biodiversity in parts off Chek Jawa to their original conditions.

This episode again highlights the vulnerability of Singapore to external events from our neighbours. Let me just point to the few examples how our country could be affected environmentally from such external forces:

a) Air: Transboundary air pollution, air laden with lots of smog and particles can deteriorate Singapore's Pollution Standard Index and cause suffering of health and economic losses with every wide-spread clearing of the Indonesian forests, as we have seen in the past episodes.

b) Land: Whenever there is a major earthquake affecting the region, Singapore can feel the tremors.

c) Water: The latest oil slick can be considered to be of the the very few incidents whereby external events can cause a wide-scale damage to our beaches and waters.

Apart from the aforementioned external environmental threats Singapore faces, terrorism and the cyclical economic global meltdowns are also the two perennial challenges Singapore face.

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