KUALA LUMPUR (May 31): Singaporeans are continuing to study the potential fallout from Malaysia’s scrapping of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail.
The Today daily reported today that Putrajaya’s decision will leave “a gaping ‘hole’ — all 12ha of it at least — in the upcoming Jurong Lake District”.
The popular Singapore paper said that “large tracts of land have been acquired by the Singapore Government for the planned development of the HSR” and chances are that the city state “would choose to keep the allocated land vacant for quite a few years to allow for the possibility of Malaysian leaders revisiting the project”.
According to the report, about 20% of the former Jurong Country Club’s (JCC) 67ha site was supposed to be allocated for the construction of the Jurong East HSR terminus.
Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority has plans to redevelop the rest of the area into a “mixed-use development precinct for business”.
Meanwhile, the Raffles Country Club (RCC) (located in Tuas) that has also been affected by the HSR is still operating.
Just a portion of the RCC’s 143ha land was supposed to be used for HSR facilities, with the remaining land hosting the Cross Island Line’s western depot.
“I don’t think [the Singapore Government] will do anything with [the allocated land] for easily a whole year.
“If the HSR is back on, where are they going to find another empty piece of land?,” ZACD Group executive director Nicholas Mak told Today.
So, it looks like the derailment of the HSR could leave the Jurong Lake District with a large parcel of idle land for some time.
The Singapore media is already gloomy with the latest Malaysian decision over the HSR project.
Today also reported on Tuesday that "investors and homeowners in Jurong can no longer expect property prices to go up as quickly as they had hoped", quoting experts.
The Straits Times ran a story with the heading "Jurong Lake District may be affected by scrapping of HSR".
It also quoted experts who said that the scrapping could "set back development of the district, where terminus was to be sited".