The Singapore River is a major influence on the success of Singapore. Since a Palembang prince named Sang Nila Utama landed eyes on this small island, the fate of this island changed forever. Due to Singapore’s good geographical location as well as having a status of being a free port, traders from different parts of the world saw this as a great business opportunity thus making it a thriving seaport. Because of the frequent trades and commerce at the Singapore River, it became crucial to the development of early Singapore. However the frequent trade at the river contributed to the water pollution in the river. The river was polluted as there were oil spills and waste discarded into the water by the boats and lighters doing trades at the river. Other sources of pollutions includes street hawkers as well as farms whom illegally discarded their waste into the river. In the end, the river became very smelly and dirty. In 1977, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew saw the river as too unsightly and called for a clean up which costed more than S$200 million. The river spans as far as 3.2 kilometres stretching from Kim Seng Road to the ocean. There are many landmarks along the river, which includes the Merlion, Singapore Stone, Parliament House and Fort Fullerton etc. However, the most prominent landmark, is the river itself. Now, the Singapore River is a popular tourist attraction and a famous landmark known across the globe.
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