Long-term plans remain sound; projects like Changi T5, Greater Southern Waterfront will be completed even if timelines shift: Chan Chun Sing

Singapore's major infrastructure projects, including (clockwise from top left) Changi Airport's Terminal 5, the Greater Southern Waterfront, the Tuas Mega Port and the Punggol Digital District. PHOTOS: ST FILE, PMO, JTC

SINGAPORE - While timelines may shift, there should be no doubt that Singapore's major infrastructure projects will be completed, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Sunday (June 14).

In a televised speech, the fourth in a series of national broadcasts by ministers laying out Singapore's post-Covid-19 plans, Mr Chan stressed that the pandemic has not changed the Government's commitment to its infrastructure plans.

"Our long-term plans remain sound... We will pace the timelines for these projects according to demand. But do not doubt this: We will get them all done," he said.

And he added that the Government still sees the projects as critical investment for future generations.

"While others have to tighten their belts, our past prudence gives us the means to continue investing in our future. This way we will gift the next generation a higher starting base, just as how our predecessors did for us," he said.

Mr Chan said Singapore will press on to build its connectivity infrastructure to reinforce its position as a choice hub for business, finance, trade and data flows.

He listed key projects such as Changi Airport Terminal 5, Tuas Mega Port and submarine cable hubs. He also cited regional developments like Punggol Digital District, Jurong Lake District, Sungei Kadut Eco-District, and the Greater Southern Waterfront (GSW).

Several of these are high-profile projects which Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has highlighted in past National Day Rally speeches.

For example, at the latest rally in August last year, Mr Lee gave more details on the GSW, a 30km stretch of coastal prime land about six times the size of Marina Bay.

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It was slated for transformation into an area for leisure, office spaces and residential use once Tanjong Pagar Terminal - now being used as a Covid-19 facility - moves fully to Tuas from 2027.

The new over $20 billion mega port at Tuas is being constructed in phases and will be twice the size of Ang Mo Kio. It was slated for completion in 2040 and will be the world's largest fully automated terminal.

Mr Lee also made Jurong Lake District a key highlight of his 2014 rally. The 360ha area will be the largest mixed-use business district outside the city centre when completed.

And for Singapore to thrive as a hub, Mr Chan also said there will also be efforts to attract the best ideas and talent.

"We will make ourselves a more attractive safe harbour for talent, ideas and intellectual property, to grow more businesses and create better jobs... Talented people, including our own, can go anywhere," he said.

Acknowledging concerns about foreign competition, he stressed that closing up was not the answer. Instead, support will be provided to help Singaporeans compete, he said.

"We cannot escape competing with the world, and proving our mettle," he said. "We will give our workers the training and support to excel, and we will ensure that the competition is fair. This is the best way to improve the well-being of our people."

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