Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Unique No More

Second Minister (Trade and Industry) S Iswaran claims that extending the Formula 1 contract will bring S$1 billion worth of "additional value-add" for the economy over a 10-year period, betting all his poker chips "to keep innovating the night race to keep it unique". That's adjective for being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.

According to the Bangkok Post English-language daily, Thailand's tourism and sports minister Chumpol Silpa-archa told AFP that its first Formula One race in 2014 is likely to be held at night as in Singapore. Apparently Thai officials had met with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone on the quiet late last month, when negotiations with Formula One's governing body, the FIA, were already more than halfway through.

That's the way the cookie crumbles
That explains Ecclestone's remark to The Telegraph, "The trouble is they've started something that's so popular worldwide that I'm sure other people are going to want to do this." The guy who sold the snake oil about the unique night race that "creates a glittering atmosphere that no other race circuit on the F1 calendar can provide" was making plans on the sly for Bangkok to be the next jewel in his crown. The slippery 81-year-old Nazi lover is not about to take the blame for knocking the wind out of Iswaran's uniqueness justification.

Iswaran had stressed that the government negotiations for the extension were about reducing costs through factors such as infrastructure, operational efficiencies in race organisation and revised terms with the race promoter and FOA. However he refused to reveal the concessions acceded, in particular the discount in franchise fees for the new contract, citing "commercial confidentiality". Obviously this is one government official who plays lip service to accountability and transparency.

Last year, officials behind the inaugural Indian Grand Prix told AFP it would take them four years to break even, leaving them only one year on their current contract to make a profit. It will be doubtful if our own officials can do better. Iswaran had claimed that the race was operating at roughly break-even cost, although there was "additional scope for savings". Without the numbers, the minister will never be able live down the fact that he has been weighed, has been measured, and has been found wanting.


  1. " keep innovating the night race to keep it unique"."
    Second Millionaire (Trade & Industry)

    Hello Iswaran.
    A simple way to keep the Singapore night race unique would have been to negotiate for Singapore to be the only venue where F1 night races will be held.
    Duhhh ???

    Simple right? No need to work so hard to keep innovating.

    We really have shit-for-brains Millionaire Ministers.

  2. //Without the numbers, the minister will never be able live down the fact that he has been weighed, has been measured, and has been found wanting.//

    This Minister won the F1 race against deafness to its people for the last 4 years, and next 4 years. He won't show it because he couldn't show the profits..simple as that.

    1. 80millions for the rights to hold the race.
      30millions for the night lights.
      170millions for the equipment and roads.
      The above are all repeated yearly fees.

      It excludes payments to all events organsings and payments to accessories. And all run and managed by foreigners.

  3. Here's one govt that insist our elderlies get no entitlements, and workers improve productivity b4 they can enjoy pay rise from sub-par to on-par standards. Yet when it comes his performance deliveries, all conducted behind cushy hotels, champagne dining and wining, power rubbing with movers and shakers in all the glam and glitz cannot show what his KPI is.

    We really have shit-for-brains 60% pacifist voters.

  4. Maybe CPIB ought to be called in to investigate. Who does the race benefits?

  5. LKY has said that Ministers do not make good businessmen.He had also wondered if the SIA bigshots were up to the measure of Richard Branson. He is correct on both counts. Iswaran and his colleagues are no match for the likes of Ecclestone. Singaporeans will continue to pay for their incompetence.Academic excellence does not tranlate into business acumen.

    1. Looks like the F1 Boss has got our FI Officials by their balls, either take it or leave it.

      No wonder he doesn't give a damn when he said it is so 'ungentleman' for him to talk about money. Our Officials were simply just acting like that tough lady so hard to get laid.

    2. According to the Economist, SIA is still trying to get rid of its 49% stake in money losing Virgin Airlines, but no takers. Conned by another foreigner, Richard Branson.

    3. It does not matter.

      Its not their money to play around anyway and if they should fall short, what will happen? retrenched? jobless?

      Best job in the world..

  6. If you REALLY want to do something, you will find a way to justify it.

    If you REALLY DON'T want to do something (oh .. say .. give a pay rise to SMRT drivers?), you will also find a way to justify it. Slippery slope to socialism, Singaporeans are not doing too badly but problem is they think the Govt has money ... etc etc ...

    And BTW, did you notice that Sgp will be one of the few Asian countries to slip into a recession in 3Q?

    When the economy grows, credit goes to the Govt.

    When the economy goes into a recession (and is one of the few in Asia to do so), it is due to external factors.

    You sometimes really have to "dumb down" to read all the thrash coming from our leaders!!

  7. Alot of the reason why the MIW (and the GLCs, TLCs, GICs) have become dumb and dumber vis-a-vis the foreigner is because they can always squeeze taxpayers to pony up each and every time to make up for the big holes they dig themselves. And when the yes-men and yes-women civil servants today can justify in writing any losses in a nice piece of policy paper to cover their bosses in return for a nice promotion, then you have the deadly embrace of unaccountability between politicians and civil service.

  8. But its my money dont i have the right to know............or do i wait to 2016 to let him know what i think.........

  9. Just what is the airy fairy "Singapore brand" the Morons-In-White keep bragging about?

    Cannot touch, cannot smell, cannot see.
    Are they referring to our CPF money and our reserves?

    Singapore F1 Night Race.
    How to compete with Bangkok F1 Night Race?
    One night in Bangkok.
    Don't play, play.

  10. Strange - I was sure my comment went through but now it doesn't appear. In the interest of fairness and correctness, I'll repeat it.

    What I said was simply that I think you might be mistaking Bernie Ecclestone for Max Mossley who was the FIA president and the guy who was in a Nazi-themed orgy with prostitutes. Bernie, as far as I know, has done nothing of the sort so should not be referred to as Nazi-loving.

    1. It's in the news, read all about it.

      Bernie not only loves Nazi, he loves Saddam too. Talk about people with all the wrong values.

    2. Do birds of a feather, really flock together?
      Millionaire Teo. What do you think?

    3. Ah I see. Missed that. Thanks for the clarification.

    4. Politics makes strange bedfellows.

    5. Also, Bernie was caught in bed with 5 girls, and F1 is known to be a hotbed for prostitution of girls. It is for the rich and ugly. Not for wholesome families outings.

  11. Pouring billions on F1 is wasteful. The amount could have helped so many deprived citizens.

  12. But we are still unique in many other ways!

    We have the highest paid President (for doing nothing), Prime Minister and Ministers in the world.
    We have the highest population density in the world, and still want more people.
    We have the highest income disparity in the world.
    We have the highest percentage of millionaires per capita in the world.
    We have the oldest serving MP in the world.
    We have the largest percentage of immigrants in the world.

    1. Ah yes!
      The Singapore brand.

    2. Correction about the "oldest serving MP in the world".
      Should be just "oldest MP in the world" - the lazy bum doesn't even bother to show up for meet-the-people-sessions. He just collects the MP allowance and pensions, and still demands to be served.

    3. Oh yes he does work for his money... photo ops, cut ribbons, shake hands and doles out prizes, awards etc.

      He even goes to Ollympics to represent you! now isnt that sweet of him?.. we should get him waxed and display in the arrivals hall.

    4. We have one of the lowest TFR in the world.
      We are one of the top countries that spend the most on Defence as a percent of the budget in the world.
      We have one of the lowest marginal tax rates in the world.
      We are the only country with the ISA, GRC and COE in the world.
      We spend the least on Health compared to the OECD countries in the world.
      We have the second (UMNO is first) longest continuously ruling party in the world.
      We hold the record for the highest number of executions per capita (excepting Turkmenistan) in the world.
      We have the longest-serving political detainee (Chia Thye Poh) in the world.
      We have the largest carbon footprint per capita in the Aisa-Pacific region.

      Oh, thank you PAP, for making STINKAPORE so UNIQUE!

  13. Have one at the Mandai Crematorium Entrance too.

    1. The one cremation we are all waiting for.

    2. That will be the mummified one.