SINGAPORE: Regardless of whether the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project proceeds, the overall impetus and vision for Jurong Lake District have not changed, said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong in Parliament on Monday (Jul 9).
However, some details may need to be adjusted along the way, as “circumstances change”.
“The bottom line is that we have an exciting transformation plan for the whole area, and we will proceed with the implementation of these plans when ready,” he said.
He was responding to a question from MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Alex Yam on the implications for development plans for sites along the Singapore stretch of the HSR, especially in the Jurong Lake District and land acquisition for the proposed HSR, should the project be terminated.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said at a press conference on May 28 that his country will drop the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project (HSR), saying the project will not benefit his country.
On Monday, however, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said there has been no official word on this from Singapore’s neighbour.
Jurong Lake District, where the HSR terminus was planned to be built, has been touted as Singapore's second Central Business District.
JURONG PLANS STARTED BEFORE HSR PROJECT PROPOSAL
Mr Wong said the work to transform Jurong started in 2008, so the plans for Jurong Lake District were developed "well before" Malaysia proposed the HSR project. It was first unveiled in 2013 by then-Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
“It was only in 2015, after further study of the HSR proposal, that we decided to locate the Singapore terminus of the HSR in Jurong,” he said.
Mr Wong said the transformation plans for the district are still relevant. The plans include the development of a commercial precinct and the injection of up to 20,000 new homes, the upgrading of Jurong Lake Gardens, and the the development of a major transport hub connecting the existing North-South and East-West MRT Lines and the upcoming Jurong Region and Cross Island Lines.
“The land parcels that the Government has acquired are needed to realise these plans,” he said, adding that the Jurong Country Club site will provide for new mixed-use developments and community facilities, while the Raffles Country Club site is needed for the Cross Island Line western depot and other transport related uses.
“The development of Jurong Lake District is part of Singapore’s broader effort to develop urban centres outside the downtown area, so as to bring jobs, amenities and recreational options closer to homes,” he said.