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Conflict of interest in Tan Cheng Bock questioning HSR terminus in Jurong East?

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The following is a letter by one of our readers, Wayne Lee.


About two weeks ago, Dr Tan Cheng Bock voiced his concerns about situating the terminus for the High Speed Rail (HSR) in Jurong East. He said that the extra 15km rail into Jurong will cost the country billions of dollars and that the President should question of the Government want to dip into Singapore’s reserves to build it (https://theindependent.sg.sg/tan-cheng-bock-president-should-question-govt-if-it-wants-to-dip-into-reserves-to-build-high-speed-rail).

At first I thought that it was because of genuine concern that Dr Tan had raised the issue, but I later found out that it could probably also be in self interest. Dr Tan was part of Jurong Country’s Club’s (JCC) acquisition team which negotiated with the Government on the compulsory acquisition of their country club.

JCC had in December last year expressed disappointment with the amount the government was willing to compensate it for compulsorily acquiring their land to build the terminus for HSR.

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So when Dr Tan said, “parliament must question the rationale for taking this option (of building the HSR terminus in Jurong East) and President l am sure will do likewise if a request is called for to dip into the nation’s reserves,” there is a lot of self interest in it.

How can we trust a person who is not upfront with the public about his connection with JCC land that was acquired, and blurs the line between private and public interests so drastically?

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