As a commercial concept, similar plans for a motorsport facility championed by Singaporean billionaire investor Peter Lim at Iskandar in Johore should prove it must have had merits of viability. The strange bit is when proposals were solicited to salvage the doomed racetrack cum retail complex, all seven interested parties asked for government subsidies. Why would tycoons with expensive hobbies like Lamborghinis or Ferraris have need of a help out from taxpayers, some of whom are evicted from their simple abodes because they can't make the mortgage for their HDB flats?
Maybe those fast car aficionados had in mind the F1 Night Race, roaring round the corner again, in September. That particular extravaganza is heavily subsidised, to the tune of 60% of the total bill, or $90 million based on the estimate of $150 million for each mega event. 5 years after the first race was flagged off in 2007, not a single year's report card on the actual finances has been made available to the public. The true cost of the government subsidy is yet to be disclosed.
One of the chief complains about the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) system is that the deep pocketed is unfairly favoured. The argument is that the present bidding system allows the rich to marginalise the not-so-rich by bidding a high price to ensure success, comfortable in the assurance that only the lowest successful bidding price would have to be paid. It's only a simple tweak to implement a pay as you bid system to address this ongoing nod to those with fat bank accounts.
One suspects the relevant minister responsible for the Sports Council, F1 Night Race and land transportation, each has his own perception of inequity. Perhaps the Changi Motorsports Hub would have a different fate if a more spendthrift cabinet minister was in charge. Asked if he had any regret about splurging $387 million dollars of taxpayers’ monies to host the most expensive “sports day” for children in the world, Vivian Balakrishnan made dubious claims about YOG “laying a strong foundation for Singapore’s sporting culture, especially in spectatorship, community involvement and volunteer engagement.” Racing fans holding multiple COEs for their private fleet would love that line about "Singapore’s sporting culture, especially in spectatorship, community involvement and volunteer engagement.” Just imagine, $387 million could pay for ten Motorsports Hubs, fully subsidised.
|Across the causeway, Malaysia boleh|