Soil works for rail link begin at Jurong club

The golf course of Jurong Country Club, seen on Dec 19, 2016. PHOTO: ST FILE

Soil investigation works at Jurong Country Club started on Tuesday, as the authorities prepare to convert the site into a terminus for the high-speed rail linking Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

A Land Transport Authority spokesman added that the major construction and systems tenders for the project will be called later this year.

The 67ha club - which included an 18-hole golf course, three swimming pools and eight tennis courts - closed on New Year's Day to make way for the terminus and a collection of commercial and residential developments around it.

Only a small group of employees are left to tie up administrative loose ends and wind down operations. This includes processing the first tranche of compensation payouts to members, said the club's golf captain Ross Tan.

He said the final New Year's Eve party at the club was an emotional affair, especially when the club flag was lowered to mark the closure.

"The feelings were mixed. We were supposed to celebrate the new year, a happy occasion, but we were sad to mark the club's end," said club member Victor Yew, 50.

He added that the club was a place where members met regularly and became friends.

Another member, Dr Tan Cheng Bock, wrote on Facebook that the club had been rated one of the best in South-east Asia. "Like all good things, (it) must come to an end (and) we must make way for progress," wrote the former MP.

Mr Ross Tan said no decision by members has been taken to close down the club, which will continue to exist as a registered club until possibly after the issue of compensation has been settled. Discussions on closure or alternatives will then be held.

The club is appealing against the $89.8 million awarded by the Collector of Land Revenue as compensation for the land acquisition.

The club had sought $168 million based on the work of its own valuation consultant, and has hired lawyers from Rajah & Tann for the case to be heard in due course.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2017, with the headline Soil works for rail link begin at Jurong club. Subscribe