F1 coming to S'pore?This is cool man! We might be having F1 GP in Singapore soon! Sometimes we just have to be bold in introducing these kind of things into Singapore.
Although it is kind of sad that Malaysia had their F1 GP 1st, I think we might still be able to catch up if we move quickly to take advantage of the opportunity this type round. Hosting the F1 GP will certainly make Singapore into a more vibrant and exciting place.
A fast-tracked decision on the Integrated Resorts would also be very desirable. Singapore needs to move as fast as we can on the Integrated Resorts to further boost our economy. Singapore needs all the economic stimulants we can lay our hands on as most of the lower-tech manufacturers are shifting out of Singapore to places that are cheaper.
These projects will also give our boost our shrinking construction, retail, hotel and tourism sector a big boost. The projected expansion of these sectors of economy should be able to create more jobs for the lower skilled Singaporeans.
All in all, I hoped that these projects can be approved soon for the sake of our economy.
S'pore eyes the checkered flag
F1 GP a possibility, as is a fast-tracked decision on Marina Bay IR: Minister
JUST days after this newspaper reported that Formula 1 czars were open to the idea of bringing the world's top motorsport event to Singapore, the Government has indicated that the idea could take off.
In the clearest signal from the authorities so far, Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang said that the Singapore Tourism Board is "actively looking at this proposal".
But whether Singapore joins the ranks of Monte Carlo, Montreal and Melbourne as a Formula 1 Grand Prix (F1 GP) race venue would depend on whether the Government is comfortable with the land and the money that will have to be set aside.
"This is a very important proposition and we have to study the full impact and make a proper evaluation," said Mr Lim on the sidelines of an International Enterprise Singapore event yesterday.
Setting aside land for a race circuit is a "very big decision" to make in land-scarce Singapore and the feasibility of building an urban track must also be studied, he said.
"It's not an easy evaluation to make."
The decision may have to be made in a race against time. The Formula One Management (FOM) has approved a proposal to add up to two more races to its calendar and is in the process of firming up its schedule for 2008.
It has already received expressions of interest from South Africa, Mexico, Russia and India and FOM chief Bernie Ecclestone, whose company holds the commercial rights to the event, has previously told Today: "My advice now is that if somebody in Singapore is interested and wants to be the promoter to do this, they should contact me and we can start talking about this and see what we can do."
The hosting fees for the event can reach US$40 million ($64 million) and a new track can set the host back another US$200 million. But cities vie for Formula 1 because of the tourist dollars and prestige it brings.
While the Government tries to reach a quick decision on Formula 1, it already appears to have fast-tracked the process for assessing the ongoing bid for the Marina Bay integrated resort (IR).
The four bidders — Genting International, MGM Mirage, Las Vegas Sands and Harrah's Entertainment — made their first pitch to the authorities last week. It had been assumed that they would be invited for a second round of presentations to bolster their case.
Now, Mr Lim, who was part of the panel of ministers that heard out the bidders last week, indicated that the second round might not even be necessary, and will take place next month only "in case we need to listen to the bidders again to clarify certain things".
He added: "In all likelihood we may not need to call them up because we've gone through the process of meeting them. Our officials are meeting them now. We're going through the internal evaluation, then we make a decision.
"All I can say is that the four bids are very, very good bids, and it shows that they take us seriously and that they want to develop a very good product in Singapore."
Various panels made up of primarily civil servants have been set up to evaluate, score and rank the proposals and subsequently make their recommendations to a five-man Ministerial Committee led by Deputy Prime Minister S Jayakumar, who will then leave the final decision to the Cabinet.
Mr Lim said that the winner for the Marina Bay IR bid will be announced by the "end of May or early June".