No change in move to acquire club land

No change in move to acquire club land
An aerial view taken from a drone of the Jurong Country Club site, where the high-speed rail terminus will be located.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

The Government is going ahead with compulsory acquisition of the land occupied by Jurong Country Club regardless of whether the High Speed Rail (HSR) project gets derailed, according to the club's general committee.

JCC said yesterday it will submit its compensation claim to the Collector of Land Revenue next Wednesday, following confirmation that the Collector's Inquiry on compensation for the acquisition of JCC land will take place that day.

Some analysts have speculated that the HSR project may be delayed or even shelved as its key backer, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, faces tough challenges in domestic politics. Just last month, for example, Malaysia's opposition alliance said it would scrap the project if it won federal power.

But other indicators bode well, with Malaysia and Singapore launching a Request For Information exercise on the HSR earlier last month to seek market views.

The club said in a statement yesterday that members at a recent extraordinary general meeting asked if the HSR project may be cancelled given political uncertainties in Malaysia. "The general committee advised that the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has made it clear that the acquisition will stay on course regardless of any other issues," it said.

Members would prefer the club to continue to exist, JCC said. "But since this is not possible, they are hoping the compensation will reflect fair value of the loss of the sporting and social benefits of their membership."

JCC said it has been working with its appointed valuers, Knight Frank, and the acquisition task force, which includes several valuation experts.

"We have a duty to the State to arrive at a claim for compensation that is responsible and fair," said club president Bobby Wee. JCC has also co-operated with SLA valuers, providing them with documents, including the club's annual reports and income statement forecast for this year, the club added.

This article was first published on November 20, 2015.
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