The Singapore terminus for the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail (HSR) project will be in Jurong East, announced Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday and reported in the media.
This fits in with overall plans to transform the Jurong area into the country’s second central business district, he said.
Elaborating on why Jurong East was picked over the other two locations of Tuas and the city centre, PM Lee said the dense nature of the city centre would make construction works for the train line difficult, while Tuas is not a centre of activity and there are no businesses.
“In Jurong East, you have business, you have population, you have a regional centre which is already developing and this will add to the regional centre, because it will make it a very attractive place and people will come in, you are there, at a place you want to be.
“And if you want to be somewhere else, rather than Jurong East … Well, Jurong East is going to be connected to the rest of Singapore with three, four MRT lines in the long term. So you can get on an MRT line, you can be anywhere else including Changi Airport within half an hour,” he stated.
Mr Lee also highlighted at a joint press conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak that the initial target date of completion should be reassessed due to the complexity and scale of the project.
In agreement, Mr Najib said: “Our original deadline as we mentioned, was 2020. But realistically speaking, this project is a very complex project. There are many dimensions to it. It has to be studied very very carefully but expeditiously.”
In a joint statement, the leaders reaffirmed both countries’ full commitment to the project’s success. They also look forward to “further progress on this game-changing iconic project, which will boost connectivity, facilitate travel between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, enhance business linkages, and improve people-to-people ties”.
“We are working hard at it. Papers have to be written and consensus reached, after considering all the relevant factors, to make sure that the project runs well. So I don’t see them as insoluble problems. We are getting there. We just need a bit more time to work everything out,” added Mr Lee.