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  The Straits Times 23 Apr 07
Govt preparing for possibility of rising sea levels
Zakir Hussain

SINGAPORE could be affected by rising sea levels some 50 or 100 years from now, but the Government has already contacted the Dutch to tap their expertise in building dykes.

In revealing this, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew provided a measure of the kind of government that Singapore has, and must have in future.

'We start learning now because by the time the waters have risen (and) we want to start learning, that is too late,' he told some 400 Young PAP members on Saturday.

'That is the kind of government Singapore must have. 'If we don't have that kind of a government, and that kind of people who can go to Delft Hydraulics, learn from them, and bring them here, do research and work out how to build dykes in a South-east Asian situation, then we will not exist, that is all.

'We will go back to an insignificant island.'

Mr Lee made the point when he touched on the effects of global warming.

Experts suggest that if the ice caps melt, waters could rise a minimum of 18cm by the end of this century - which Singapore can survive - or a maximum of 6m, which would spell trouble for Singapore and many cities.

'So, we have already got in touch with the Dutch, who know how to build dykes,' Mr Lee said.

He went on to make the point that Singapore needed 'capable, intelligent, honest, dedicated leaders'. 'That is how we got here, and we need that to continue to be here,' he said.

Delft Hydraulics, a Netherlands-based water research and consulting organisation, recently set up a research centre here with the National University of Singapore and the Public Utilities Board. Delft is also helping with the Marina Barrage, a dam being built across Marina Bay to create a new reservoir. zakirh@sph.com.sg

Spiegel Online 24 Apr 07
Singapore Planning for Climate Change: Singapore Wants Dutch Dikes

Singapore has decided not to wait for sea levels to rise, preferring to plan ahead.

Elder statesman Lee Kuan Yew said the city-state has contacted experts from the Netherlands for help with dike construction as it prepares for the effects of climate change.

Singapore is worried about rising sea levels. Nobody knows for sure how much sea levels will rise as a result of global warming. But rather than waiting to find out for sure, Singapore has already begun planning.

According to a news report in the English-language paper Straits Times, the tiny island nation just off of Malaysia has contacted Dutch experts for help in building protective dikes.

The 663 square kilometer city-state has begun researching such technology, "because by the time the waters have risen (and) we want to start learning, that is too late," former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew said according to the paper.

"So we have already got in touch with the Dutch, who know how to build dikes." Lee, who is now part of the cabinet of his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said that the Singaporean government has already contacted the Netherlands-based research and consulting firm Delft Hydraulics, though the company on Tuesday was unable to immediately confirm that such an inquiry had been made.

The company already enjoys close cooperation with Singapore in other areas including a research center recently established together with the National University of Singapore, according to a company spokeswoman.

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