Is Tuas mega port a white elephant?

The Tuas mega port is going to cause the govt several billion dollars and the govt is desperate for money, a very strange phenomenon if one is to believe that we have nearly one trillion dollars in reserves. Why would Khaw Boon Wan come out in public to announce that the govt has no money to pay for this port? What is a few billion dollars when you have nearly a trillion dollars stashed away? Quite puzzling indeed. Something fishy is going on.

The Tuas mega port is several times the size of the present port facilities and to build such a big port it means that the govt is anticipating at least a doubling in growth of shipping using the port. Otherwise it would indeed be a white elephant, building for the sake of building to boost up the GDP.

The big question, would there really be a big increase in shipping traffic or a big fall instead. Chinese shipping criss crossing Singapore makes up more than 80% of all shippings through the Straits of Malacca. If the Chinese diverted all their ships to Malacca or elsewhere, the ships calling at Tuas would go down by 80% from the present number. Even with the present capacity it would be over provided and our port would be a white elephant. If Tuas mega port is going to handle only 20% of existing shipping traffic, it would look like a ghost port, and indeed a white elephant.

This likelihood is a great possibility given the Chinese plan to be less dependent on Singapore port and the massive developments of Malacca, Gwadar and ports in Myanmar and the eventuality of a Kra Canal. The fate of Tuas mega port is hanging on a string given the present political equation.

Could Singapore turn the tide and preserve its preeminent position as the main port of call for Chinese shipping and prevent the ships from diverting to other ports? This is the tricky situation Singapore is in today, to build a mega port that could end up as a white elephant and wasting public funds in doing so.

The fate of Tuas mega port and Singapore as a thriving sea port depends on China's shipping policies which ultimately boils down to Singapore's strategic balance between China and the USA. China would want to have as many ports of call as possible to spread out its dependence on anyone port. It wants to have options. All the ports it is building are in countries that are very fickle minded and highly undependable. Malaysia has just made a volte face and threatening to derail everything the Chinese are building, including the Malacca port. This is the treacherous position of China when dealing with equality slippery leaders in the region. The cancellation of Malacca and the rail projects would mean Malaysia is no longer in the BRI and brings hope of Singapore becoming indispensable again.

Not really, as China may find the need to cut the Isthmus of Kra more urgent. What can Singapore do to regain its choice place in the Chinese equation? Ideally, it would be best for Singapore to do its balancing act well, with a real balance between China and the US with the Chinese feeling more secure, that the American threats to their interest in transiting the area within their control or not at the mercy of the Americans and a Singapore that is neutral to both.

A better option would be a more pro China policy, relatively to the US to enhance and encourage Chinese shipping here without having to spend huge funds to build up Malacca port or cutting the Kra Canal. Think about it, what can the Americans offer that China could not offer and who can offer more? The security aspect of American forces to protect Singapore's interest is something China is equally capable of doing today. And everything else the Americans could do or offer, China could offer more. The biggest consumer market in the world, a growing economy to rival the Americans, the factory of the world, the BRI and of course to channel its shipping to Tuas mega port. This last part the Americans could only do a fraction of what the Chinese could offer.

A more favourable foreign policy towards China would hook up Singapore to the world's biggest growth engine in the 21st Century versus a dying evil Empire. What is there to lose for redefining its foreign policies towards China?

There is hope that Tuas mega port would not be a white elephant if Singapore plays its cards right. And there is certain death if it does not change its one sided pro American or anti China policies. Start by clearing the swamp in the main media from publishing anti China and biased American views against China. Singapore still has an outside chance to save its position as a vital sea port of call for Chinese shipping. Remember, without the 80% of ships calling here, Singapore is dead duck.


Anonymous said...

Yes. It will be an Giant White Elephant cos there is no one as capable as the then ex-econ Minister Goh Keng Swee. No one, yes, no one is as capable & talented & has the foresight as GKS to have the brillant, & guts to develop the then swamp land of Juring to become an industrial estate & got the gut to develop a birdpark over that swamp land. The currents LHL administration tried his best to emulate that or develop that Tuas mega pork will be a lost cause when the Leegime is seen to lean more to the whites evil Americuns, China will just give Ah Long a middle finger to everything that they do, ah Heng visit to China will also be a waste of time & effort to hv cordial relationship with China.

Anonymous said...

Tuas megaport becoming a white elephant is not as serious as actually the govt has no money. What happened to the trillion dollar reserves ??

Anonymous said...

Tuas Mega Port and Changi Terminal 5 shall all be giant
white elephants no matter how grand they are painted to be.
What is important to Singaporeans is that the planned projects are not grossly overpriced as those projects in Malaysia
initiated by Ousted Prime Minister Najib
Razak and Company.
lt is now suspected that the expenditures were greatly inflated to benefit the bank accounts of politicians top civil servants in Najib's

Anonymous said...

When politicians die die want to build monuments and white elephants ie mega projects, you can expect the intention is not so innocent anymore.

Anonymous said...

With the story painted and the comments here.......

Sg sure mati liao......

So what should we do......


Anonymous said...

Day of Reckoning
fast approaching.
prepared for it,
edpecially the
Judgement awaits

Titiana Ann Xavier said...

PM Lee is planning to build the Tuas Mega Port as his parting gift for the 4G leaders. If the 4G leaders continue to suck up to Uncle Sam, the Chinese will eschew using it. Melaka Mega Port or Kra Canal will pose a huge challenge to Tuas Mega Port. Uncle Sam's warships may provide some business if they can afford to continue costly FON operations in the SCS and use Tuas to replenish food and fuel. Otherwise Tuas Mega Port may have to be leased to China for a pittance. Beggars cannot be choosers.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

If it is losing money, cut losses and sell it off to the PRIVAATE SECTOR.

Maybe one of the banks or hedge funds can buy it and make it work.

government doing business? Very fucking bad idea.

Anonymous said...

Pls lah..Pappies strategy is most likely have more than a $trillion reserves to play around suka suka without transparency n a fake accountability.
While get sillyzens to funds all their big ego mega projects thru more tariffs n taxes.
After all 69.9% Sinkies are sillyzens.
The geopolitical realities are Uncle Sam will remain the most powerful military n commercial nation in the world. While China will be the King in Asia. Ikan Bilis like Singapura better wake up to this realities n not try to punch above its weight n ended up punching itself n its sillyzens. Humility is much needed when 2 giants are posturing n doing wrestling.

Anonymous said...

Citizens are screwed to the core when its garhmen delivers to its citizens the trophy of the most expensive city in the world 5 yrs in a row. This kind of economic performance is the worst possible but the great irony is that instead of having the lowest pay in the world for politicians they reward themselves with the world highest pay, way way above the 2nd n the rest by more than a million miles.

b said...

Sg can afford one. Just sell more stack up apartments to suckers loh. Foreginers or not also never mind.

Anti-Corrupt Practices Not Under PMO said...

When good people turned scoundrels because their greed increased owing to looking at and handling of billions of dollars of taxpayers' and CPF members' savings everyday, and worst of all, also because their annual bonuses have been deliberately hitched-a-back on the GDP Growth, the natural tendency is to GROW GDP AT ALL COSTS (which has already been openly and unashamedly announced by the "Dishonorable Son" shortly after he took over power but later tried to deny it when confronted with pertinent criticism) AT THE EXPENSE OF EVERYTHING ELSE!

As a result, cunning brains get to work in doible or triple quick time. Mega projects, where $billions and $billions can be channelled into $2 companies, like the AIM of the Town Councils' accounting software fame, and off-shore shell-companies, or legitimate banks under full control of the "Power-At-Play", become fashionable because they not only can kill many birds with one stone, but also feed many hungry greedy beasts simultaneously for a very long time, generation after generation!

Anonymous said...

The big egotist will never ever be enlighten, the most your opinion will travel through a maze, process through a time machine becomes others invented product.

Virgo 49 said...

Understand the Tuas Mega Port also planned for sort of Theme Park.

Sinkieland's economy always hinged to what's Tourists Economy.

Only famous for MICE business. Kena Mouse business then they know.

Where's in the World got A Nation Life Line Blood Business with Theme Park outlets in mind.???

Cheo See Lang. The Tourists want ri see your Empty Port pai swee with all the gallantry cranes hormat senjanta like greeting the Dotard and Fat Boy or NS Day Parade??

Think a country's business port like Resorts World Theme Park Viking Swing??

Dr Talk Alot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr Talk Alot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr Talk Alot said...

In recent years, there has been suggestions, and speculations, and rumours, and financial analyzes, and grapevine whispers that GIC and Temasek Holdings have lost big time the public money entrusted to them to invest for the benefits of CPF members and for National Interests.

Owing to the severe lack of accountability and transparency, the public is in the dark as to the goings-on within the two national sovereign wealth funds.

In addition, the tightly government-controlled mass media, such as CNA, Today and the Straits Times only report music to the ears. Huge losses made by GIC and Temasek Holdings would, of course, be blacked out. Their reporters and editors should not be blamed because they have been put under the monopolistic administration of the Singapore Press Holding, being helmed by an obedient retired soldier, a fast-tracked incubator product with only paper-qualifications but without real working professional experience, His only experience was to make huge losses for consecutive years for NOL and then sell off NOL for a song to a French company that immediately turned it around within one year with substantial profits.

Fortunately or unfortunately, there is a piece of evidence.of such losses made by the husband and wife team that runs GIC and Temasek Holdings. Here it is:

According to the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange investment disclosure on May 25, Singapore GIC lost S$7.4 million on Vietnam taxi company Vinasun.

In Aug 2014, GIC paid VND202 billion (about S$11.82 million in 2014 value) for 7.96% of the shares, and sold them all last month on 25 May 2018 at VND75 billion (S$4.39 million).

The 62% loss translates to a S$7.4 million loss in value.

Please share this piece of valuable evidence.

Anonymous said...

do you guys even know you stuff? im not pro govt btw and i tell u tuas will not be a white elephant. in fact pasir panjang ports are already overflowing with vessels ( waiting time at anchorage 4-24hrs) every other week. especially if china have weather issues.
malacca port? there's one international airport in JB, that claim to take over changi airport crown when finished. up to now how many ppl u know taking bus in tofly from there? Because simply flight connections is impt , same with sea trade. singapore's connections and productivity is what is keeping it going. malacca will have a tough time catching up with us. But i do agree KRA canal is a risk to SG but thai govt says its not their project and its funded by private companies no ?

Anonymous said...

Oei writer, you are a dumbass who knows next to nothing about shipping.

Keep your misinformed opinions to yourself lah.

Virgo49 said...

Anon 4.31

Please come to my humble flat overlooking the Keppel Terminal Container Port next to the old KTM Station.

Everday, see the Shore cranes Hormat Senjatas to the Sea. Previously, container trucks lined up in our inner road waiting to enter the Port Area for loading and export and taking delivery of Class Cargo. Now barely see one.

Also, near the Mount Faber for the Brani Container Port, they used to line up till corner of Kampong Bahru Container Freight Station. Now hardly see one.

Even though the Tuas Port is still not ready in operations. See how doldrums the Shipping Activities.

Pasir Panjang is just a conventional converted container berth and many smaller ships wants to berth there for cheaper operational charges. That's why once a while peak demand for berths.

Sinkieland is NO MORE Number ONE in shipping activities compared to other ports in Asia.
M.O.T will be buzzing with flies and mosquitoes.

They called at Johore Ports which is very much cheaper in terms of Port and Wharf charges. Pilot-age Fees and also bunkerings and water supplies plus ships Chandeliers services.

So many shipping firms also closed shops. Only transshipment hub with no REAL volume cargo of our own. Now SEA ports have their own Ports of calls for their own Transshipment direct cargo.

So many Big Carriers now berthed in Matland, Thailand and other Vietnamese Port.

Singapore shipping Tuas Port will be a BIG BIG WHITE ELEPHANT with only curious locals and some tourists going there just to gawk at the EMPTY PORT with shore cranes standing errect.

Why they shifting from Finger Pier right up to Keppel, Brani and Pasir Panjang??

So they can develop the Second Marina CBD and sell to the Foreigners. Sell ALL of Singapore and away they go.

Bye Bye you daft sinkies.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

They will turn Tuas Mega Port into a tourism attraction. Come to Singapore to see the big white elephant in Tuas.

Anonymous said...

Pasir Panjang is just a conventional converted container berth and many smaller ships wants to berth there for cheaper operational charges. That's why once a while peak demand for berths.

i don't know which year are you living in dude. 1980s?
i didnt know 20,000teu megaships can berth at "conventional converted container berth ".
read up on pasir panjang terminals dude. dont be a fool.
in case you're wondering, the reason why brani, tg pagar , keppel is no longer as prosperous as before, a huge chunk of ops are moved to pasir panjang.
"They called at Johore Ports which is very much cheaper in terms of Port and Wharf charges. Pilot-age Fees and also bunkerings and water supplies plus ships Chandeliers services." if you are referring to pasir gudang, sorry the mega vessels cant navigate the narrow straits between JB and SIN.
if you are referring to tanjung pelapas, FYI , MSK moved a good 30-40% of cargo from pelapas to pasir panjang after the msian's couldnt cope with msk throughputs.
So many shipping firms also closed shops. Only transshipment hub with no REAL volume cargo of our own. Now SEA ports have their own Ports of calls for their own Transshipment direct cargo." i didnt know singapore needs 33.35million tons of imports/exports annually. Singapore is a REALLLY big CONSUMER.

read up , you daft foreigner who's living in the 80s. what a joke.