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As Malaysia bans sand exports, Singapore says it's using less

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Sand is a key resource for  Singapore, which looks to land reclamation as part of its plan to mitigate the impact of climate change.

[KULALA LUMPUR] Singapore said it's been trying to reduce reliance on sand, as  Malaysia announced a ban on all exports of sea sand since last year on environmental concerns.

The city-state piloted a polder development in outlying Pulau Tekong that uses less sand compared to regular reclamation, a spokesperson for Singapore's Ministry of National Development said in a statement. The government has also sought to diversify its sources of sand to ensure resilient supply, the spokesperson said.

The ministry was responding to questions after Malaysia's Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Xavier Jayakumar said that the country's sea sand will be limited for domestic use only. The exports ban won't affect ties with Singapore as it isn't related to the city-state's reclamation efforts, he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Sand is a key resource for  Singapore, which looks to land reclamation as part of its plan to mitigate the impact of climate change. Almost one-third of the country rests just five meters above sea level. Over the years, the country's biggest suppliers of the resource, including Indonesia and Cambodia, have already halted exports to limit environmental damage.

Exports of river sand from Malaysia would require approval from Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Mr Xavier said.

BLOOMBERG