Concerns have arisen that if the island disappears below sea level during high tides, it would risk Indonesia losing the maritime boundary that had been negotiated with Singapore since 2005.
A previous government report said Nipah only measured a total of 0.62 hectares when the tide came in, and expanded to 60 hectares during low tides.
After extensive reclamation work carried out by the Indonesian government, "Nipah island has now been brought far above sea level, just like before. We can already have buildings developed there and it has also been divided into several zones for different purposes,"
Nipah Island will be developed for various purposes, including as a traffic monitoring base for anchoring vessels, where vessels could anchor temporarily before entering Singapore, Malaysia or Indonesia.
According to the 2004 master plan for Nipah island`s development, plans for the island included a pier, plaza and monument, an integrated security post, mangrove and marine biota observation center, and a fishermen`s shelter. "The facilities would be constructed in accordance with the needs of visitors to the island which is located on the edge of a sea lane through which 50,000 merchant ships pass every year."
More reports about Nipah Island and Singapore's shores
- Indonesia restores key maritime baseline of Nipah Island: Foreign Ministry Lilian Budianto, The Jakarta Post 6 Feb 09;
- President Yudhoyono chairs meeting on Nipah Island`s development Antara 3 Feb 09;
- Singapore, Indonesia agree on western maritime boundary Salim Osman, Straits Times 4 Feb 09;
- Indonesia and Singapore agree on new boundary Erwida Maulia, The Jakarta Post 3 Feb 09;
- Four Villages In Madura Island May Be Gobbled Up By Sea Bernama 22 Dec 06;
- Indonesian activists back ban on sand for Singapore Yahoo News 14 Feb 07;
- Govt to boost security to enforce sand export ban Fadli, The Jakarta Post
- Singapore’s Shifting Sands Asia Sentinel 31 Jan 07;
- The shifting sands of time - and Singapore Bill Guerin Atimes 31 Jul 03;