Monday, September 27, 2010
Selamat Datang Ke Singapura
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's parsimonious one word "No" answer to the obvious query about the link between the perceived payola and the long overdue prisoner extradition speaks volumes. The story really started with Singtel overpaying English Premier League (EPL) for the exclusive broadcast rights, which they are still struggling to deliver with the flaky mioTV platform. Then FIFA heard about the Singapore decision makers who throw money to the wind like it was going out of style, and joined the feeding frenzy with outrageous World Cup demands. But even they could not imagine a Minister who would exceed a budget 3 times over, and still look himself in the mirror and smile.
No wonder Bernie Ecclestone is saying he wants the Singapore Grand Prix to be staged for the next 20 years. Factoid: He''s the only one guaranteed to make a killing from the F1 races. According to Time Magazine ("Turbulent Times Of Formula One", 15 March 2010), Ecclestone alone makes the big TV, sponsorship and track deals that keep F1's cash gushing. Ecclestone was also quoted praising the governance style of Adolf Hitler, saying the German leader "could command a lot of people" and was "able to get things done". You can see why the guy simply loves Singapore. A nervous Minister of Trade and Industry S. Iswaran, who inked the 5 year deal running out in 2012, quickly clarified that it is too early to talk about an extension. The decision to proceed "will rest on a robust cost-benefit analysis," especially when the report card for the inaugural event of 2008 has yet to be publicly released. Unlike his thick skinned colleague, Iswaran does not have a miscellaneous accounting entry called "other costs" to fool around with.