- POSTED: 17 Aug 2014 22:09
- UPDATED: 18 Aug 2014 01:34
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced plans to merge the Japanese Garden, Chinese Garden and Jurong Lake Park into the Jurong Lake Gardens, which could become a "people's garden" to rival parks like the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.
SINGAPORE: A new Jurong Lake Gardens, a revamped Science Centre, and possibly the terminus for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail - major updates for Jurong announced at Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's National Day Rally speech on Sunday (Aug 17).
Jurong has been dramatically transformed from a swamp area into an industrial town over the years. The most notable upgrade was the Jurong Lake District in 2008, which consists of a commercial district and a lakeside. At the National Day Rally, Mr Lee says a more ambitious transformation is planned to revitalise the area.
Nearby tourist attractions like the Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden will be merged with the Jurong Lake Park to form a giant attraction called Jurong Lake Gardens.
Mr Lee said authorities plan to bring community gardeners from all over Singapore to create and look after show gardens in the Jurong Lake Gardens. They will "make it a people's garden. Bigger than Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, perhaps even better than Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park."
But it's the new Science Centre that the Prime Minister says will be the "jewel" in the Lake Gardens' crown. To be completed around 2020, the centre will be located near the Chinese Garden MRT station. This will allow the Centre to extend into Jurong Lake Gardens, and integrate with the living environment, thereby raising possibilities of an entirely new concept for the centre.
Other than linking the gardens to the park connector network and Jurong River, there are plans to build more housing and integrate them into the Lake District. In the longer-term, Prime Minister Lee says this may mean shifting the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) southwards to create more space next to the lake.
Mr Lee said there is also a possibility that the planned Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail may come to Jurong. "I've agreed with PM Najib to build a high-speed rail between Singapore and KL. I've told PM Najib that in Singapore - why don't we site the terminus in the Jurong Lake District? We are discussing it with the Malaysians, we have not settled it yet, but if we get the high-speed rail terminus in the Jurong Lake District, then that will make Jurong truly an exciting gateway to Singapore."
To address Singapore's traffic issues, Mr Lee said improvements will be seen within the next two years by increasing capacity of the existing North-South and East-West lines. The additions of the Jurong Region Line and Cross-Island Line will also help.