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  1. #273
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Heartware matters most - Singapore's army chief

    The Straits Times
    Sep 2, 2009


    High-tech gear no substitute for human commitment: Army chief

    By Jermyn Chow

    DO NOT get too caught up with technology. It is the hearts and minds of soldiers that matter most to Singapore's army chief.

    At a time when much has been said about the Singapore Armed Forces' latest machines and systems, Major-General Neo Kian Hong wants to turn the spotlight on the man behind the armour.

    In his first interview with the media, Maj-Gen Neo elaborated on how the soldier's commitment to defence is what will take the third-generation army to a higher level.

    The 'solid equipment' must be backed by soldiers who are willing to fight for their country, he said.

    'That's the reason why I'm never enamoured of all the high-tech stuff. I'm rather hard-nosed and I say in the end, we must make sure that our people are committed, every one of them,' said the 44-year-old army chief, speaking ahead of tomorrow's Army Open House.

    Dr Bernard Loo, defence analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, agreed with the emphasis on having the right man behind the right equipment.

    'What is the point of having the best combat systems when the operator cannot be bothered or motivated?' he said. Keenly aware of the importance of the human element, Maj-Gen Neo makes it a priority to hone the skills and fighting spirit of soldiers.

    Having a steady stream of highly educated and tech-savvy enlistees has helped. Up to 70 per cent of soldiers are now A-level graduates or polytechnic diploma holders, and many of them can process reams of information and act on them quickly, he said.

    Smart as they may be, the new 'thinking soldiers' are no slaves to technology. To train them, commanders in the 3G army put soldiers through mock battle scenarios, and expect them to come up with the best way to overcome and outwit the enemy.

    Ultimately, the SAF exists not just to uphold the defence and security of Singapore, Maj-Gen Neo said. 'We're actually training the whole fighting spirit of the nation so that we can define our future and determine our way of life,' he said.

    Major-General Neo Kian Hong says he is 'never enamoured of all the high-tech stuff', and believes what is most important is that soldiers be willing to fight for their country. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
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  2. #274
    Regular Member ctjcad's Avatar
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    Default S'pore beefing up its military?!?!..

    ..i'm reading all of these news from Loh abt S'pore beefing up its military and i wonder, who are they trying to defend from?? Is M'sia or Indonesia or Philippines or Vietnam going to suddenly invade them?? Or is S'pore on a mission to join the U.S. in the Middle East wars?? Or to simply beef up its security for possible terrorist attacks??...

  3. #275
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctjcad View Post
    ..i'm reading all of these news from Loh abt S'pore beefing up its military and i wonder, who are they trying to defend from?? Is M'sia or Indonesia or Philippines or Vietnam going to suddenly invade them?? Or is S'pore on a mission to join the U.S. in the Middle East wars?? Or to simply beef up its security for possible terrorist attacks??...
    Please don't alarm yourself and others unnecessarily.

    No way can tiny Singapore pose a military threat to any country. This is all part of Singapore's ultimate goal to achieve the best it can be in all areas, not necessarily confined to economics and finance alone.

    The superpowers of the world and countries with nuclear weapons or the capability to build them, should be the ones we should be wary of. :eek

    I can see our improvements in military hardware and software as another means to contributing to our economy when our products have achieve high standards and are internationally accepted. With a small population we need to device better means of utilising their services through improvements in systems, hardware and software and increased productivity.

    Right now it is true that terrorists are an enemy to the world because they destroy innocent lives and property. With improved military weapons, this can certainly help us to better defend ourselves against terrorists attacks.
    Last edited by Loh; 09-03-2009 at 02:15 AM.

  4. #276
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Former Malaysian Information Minister - Split with S'pore a lesson

    The Straits Times
    Sep 2, 2009

    http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking...ry_424461.html

    KUALA LUMPUR - FORMER information minister Zainuddin Maidin cited the split with Singapore in making his point in a column on Tuesday that it was important to learn lessons from the past.

    In the column, published a day after Malaysia's 52nd National Day, he said former prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had to throw Singapore out of Malaysia because it was a 'thorn in our flesh'.

    Datuk Zainuddin's article in the Utusan Malaysia newspaper referred at length to 'the special position of Malays and Islam and other sensitive issues that Mr Lee Kuan Yew disputed then'.

    'The main reason Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman decided to kick Singapore out of Malaysia was the speech made by its then Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, in the Malaysian Parliament in May 1965 questioning the Malay government in Malaysia,' he wrote.

    He added that similar controversies are resurfacing, alluding to concerns among Umno leaders that Malaysian minorities are questioning the position of Malays and Islam.

    Mr Zainuddin was formerly the chief editor of Utusan, a newspaper owned by Umno. He was information minister during the premiership of Tun Abdullah Badawi.

    'The special position of Malays and Islam and the other sensitive issues that Lee Kuan Yew disputed then, causing the outbreak of the May 13th incident, have again become the subject of hot debate following incidents involving the dumping of a cow's head by protesters that challenged the Hindus, and the wrapping of a pig in the Umno flag that challenged the Malays,' he wrote.

    The May 13 incident he referred to was the race riots of 1969. And last Friday, a group of Malays protested against the relocation of a Hindu temple in Selangor by stomping on the severed head of a cow, an animal sacred to Hindus. It was not clear what incident he was referring to when a pig was wrapped in an Umno flag.

    Wrote Mr Zainuddin: 'If 50 years of independence have given a deeper understanding of the poison sowed by Kuan Yew 40 years ago, the recent events mentioned would not have occurred.'

    He added that although Singapore is more advanced than Malaysia, the Republic does not enjoy the same freedom: 'Singapore sticks to a Third World democracy despite having a developed world mentality, while Malaysia has a Third World mentality but a developed world democracy.'

    My view

    (Well some veteran Malaysian politicians still harbour animosities against Singapore and carry with them historical baggages that perhaps should be left unruffled as history. But they thought they could score points by making Singapore once again the scapegoat during political rallies and as and when the opportunity arises.

    Just yesterday it was reported, at a political rally, DPM Muhyiddin Yassin (post #269) said it was Singapore's MM Lee who threatened war if Malaysia cut off its water supply, but luckily it was the then PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who denied it when he said he persuaded the then Johor Menteri Besar Yassin to continue to supply water to Singapore.

    And now, in his column, we have Mr Zainuddin Maidin accusing Singapore's then PM Lee of "poison sowed" when Singapore was within Malaysia that has now led to recent unstable events on race and religion in Malaysia even after 44 years. I think this may be stretching it a bit too far.

    And to say Singapore has a "Third World democracy" when she was "thrown and kicked" out of Malaysia because PM Lee spoke out on race and related issues when he was then a member of the Malaysian Parliament and became "a thorn in (their) flesh" would seem a contradition to what he claimed as Malaysia having a "developed world democracy" as opposed to Singapore's.

    We thank our lucky stars that we have left Malaysia four decades back to find the freedom and democracy to do what we feel are in the best interests of the country and the people to achieve our current status and to continue to reach for the stars.)
    Last edited by Loh; 09-03-2009 at 02:46 AM.

  5. #277
    Regular Member ctjcad's Avatar
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    Default No alarm..

    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    Please don't alarm yourself and others unnecessarily.

    No way can tiny Singapore pose a military threat to any country. This is all part of Singapore's ultimate goal to achieve the best it can be in all areas, not necessarily confined to economics and finance alone.

    The superpowers of the world and countries with nuclear weapons or the capability to build them, should be the ones we should be wary of. :eek
    ...
    Right now it is true that terrorists are an enemy to the world because they destroy innocent lives and property. With improved military weapons, this can certainly help us to better defend ourselves against terrorists attacks.
    - No, not trying to alarm myself or my fellow peace loving BCers in and around S'pore...
    - I think S'pore's finance, economics and education will still outshine the other achievements.. Now, if S'pore is to build 2 or more atomic bombs and shelf them in its arsenal, now we're talking. But even then, i can't fathom the idea of tiny S'pore going up against mighty China and dropping nukes...
    - Exactly. But then this is in conflict of the 2nd point as S'pore basically presents no threat to other superpowers and countries with nuclear weapons..
    - Terrorists. IMO, that's the only plausible reason for S'pore to improve & beef up its security/military.
    Last edited by ctjcad; 09-03-2009 at 03:24 AM.

  6. #278
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default He chose NS over Australian citizenship

    It is always heartwarming once a while to find young men coming forward to make a stand for tiny Singapore as national servicemen.

    National Service (NS) used to be a very sensitive issue when it was first introduced some 40 years ago. Some eligible young men, including permanent residents, tried to delay being conscripted and some parents fought hard to help them. Some parents even arranged for their young sons to study overseas before they are of NS reporting age and even opted to forfeit their cash bonds if their sons chose not to return to serve. But now the mentality has changed somewhat and NS is taken with greater responsibilty and respect. In turn the government has tried to improve training conditions and incentives over the years. Reported here is another worthwhile case.


    The Straits Times
    September 2, 2009

    By Jermyn Chow

    In 2004, Justin Lee had come to a cross-roads: The Australian with permanent resident status here had to choose between heading back to Australia and serving National Service here.

    Fresh from two years at the former Hwa Chong Junior College, he chose to don green fatigues and has not looked back since.

    Midway through NS, he signed on as a regular with the army; he clinched a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) scholarship and was later selected to train at West Point, the premier United States military academy. He topped his graduating class there in June.

    Lieutenant Lee, now platoon commander of the 6th Battalion Singapore Infantry Regiment (6 SIR), was held up by Singapore's army chief Major-General Neo Kian Hong as an example of commitment to defence at the soldier's level, a critical element for an army to have.

    Lt Lee, now 24, had to convince his parents to shelve their plans to put him through university in Australia - not that he didn't want to get a degree.

    "I didn't think that NS would hold me back from studying. In fact, it has done me a lot of good." said the youngest of three children in his family.

    His parents supported his choice to sign up with the SAF in 2005.

    He said he has become more disciplined and has learnt the importance of being responsible for his actions and the men under him.

    In his current job, he wants to groom soldiers to be committed to the country's defence.

    "These are things I don't think I will get to learn or do as a civilian," said Lt Lee, who is applying for citizenship here.

    Maj-Gen Neo said the commitment to Singapore's defence also goes beyond combat officers.

    He cited the case of Third Sergeant Lee Jianhui, 25, who extended his NS stint by six months to see out his duties as an administratiave supervisor in 1 SIR.

    3rd Sgt Lee, who will work towards a master's in intercultural communications at a British university next year, said: "It doesn't matter whether I'm a clerk or combat soldier. What matters most is that I know I can contribute and make a difference.
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  7. #279
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctjcad View Post
    - No, not trying to alarm myself or my fellow peace loving BCers in and around S'pore...

    - I think S'pore's finance, economics and education will still outshine the other achievements.. Now, if S'pore is to build 2 or more atomic bombs and shelf them in its arsenal, now we're talking. But even then, i can't fathom the idea of tiny S'pore going up against mighty China and dropping nukes...

    - Exactly. But then this is in conflict of the 2nd point as S'pore basically presents no threat to other superpowers and countries with nuclear weapons..

    - Terrorists. IMO, that's the only plausible reason for S'pore to improve & beef up its security/military.
    Glad you understood that Singapore can never be a threat to others.

    On the contrary, I think Singapore realises that being small and vulnerable, it has to make itself harder to be swallowed up by bigger and unfriendly entities and to try to delay being easily captured and destroyed until help arrives. It is happening to other countries for whatever reasons.

    The terrorist aspect is a real threat as Singapore is a global city where huge numbers of people from all over the world converge and pass through, for business meetings, conventions, incentive tours, holidays, education, etc, etc. We have to beef up our defences in a multitude of areas to ensure the personal safety of residents and vistors, their property and their belongings.

    Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, there will always be loopholes and lapses and it is not for the want of trying that we allow ourselves to succumb to weaknesses. So we must try to continue to improve in all areas, including the military, in the defence of Singapore.

  8. #280
    Regular Member ctjcad's Avatar
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    Default Of course..

    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    Glad you understood that Singapore can never be a threat to others.

    On the contrary, I think Singapore realises that being small and vulnerable, it has to make itself harder to be swallowed up by bigger and unfriendly entities and to try to delay being easily captured and destroyed until help arrives. It is happening to other countries for whatever reasons.
    ...
    - Of course, i understand that. Thus my original post and questions and wonderment on the need for S'pore to beef up its security/military...
    - What other bigger or unfriendly entities, ready to swallow up S'pore, are there?? Is CHN going to swallow up S'pore?? I can only think of M'sia being the one ready to invade & re-take S'pore. What other countries (as small as S'pore) are being swallowed up by bigger and unfriendly entities? I can only think of Taiwan, as a small nation comparable to S'pore, as one which should beef up its security/military from CHN.
    Last edited by ctjcad; 09-03-2009 at 04:24 AM.

  9. #281
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ctjcad View Post
    - Of course, i understand that. Thus my original post and questions and wonderment on the need for S'pore to beef up its security/military...
    - What other bigger or unfriendly entities, ready to swallow up S'pore, are there?? Is CHN going to swallow up S'pore?? I can only think of M'sia being the one ready to invade & re-take S'pore. What other countries (as small as S'pore) are being swallowed up by bigger and unfriendly entities? I can only think of Taiwan, as a small nation comparable to S'pore, as one which should beef up its security/military from CHN.
    I wish I know the answer. I hope war will never happen and peace will remain, at least in Southeast Asia. One very good reason why Singapore has been a member of ASEAN since its inception and prefers to be a friend to all.

    But it is better to be prepared than sorry when something untoward really happens.

  10. #282
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    The only qualm I have bout Singapore and its military is the way the drill sgts bark "WAKE UP YOUR IDEA!"

    Loh, could you put in a word for me? I'd like to teach your drill instructors how to swear properly :P

  11. #283
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FEND. View Post
    The only qualm I have bout Singapore and its military is the way the drill sgts bark "WAKE UP YOUR IDEA!"

    Loh, could you put in a word for me? I'd like to teach your drill instructors how to swear properly :P
    Really? How do you know? Seen on Youtube or what?
    I was lucky not to have learnt from the drill sgts or WOs.

  12. #284
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    hahaha

    Uncle Loh, a few friends from singapore told me about it. I am pretty sure I could toughen up your DIs and enhance their vocabulary in a very appropriate way

  13. #285
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FEND. View Post
    hahaha

    Uncle Loh, a few friends from singapore told me about it. I am pretty sure I could toughen up your DIs and enhance their vocabulary in a very appropriate way
    Naughty, naughty! You should try out on your Singaporean friends first and see whether it is effective.

  14. #286
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    Naughty, naughty! You should try out on your Singaporean friends first and see whether it is effective.
    It's way better than WAKE UP YOUR IDEA!! :P

  15. #287
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default 2009 F1 SingTel Singapore GP

    With the 2009 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix race hotting up nearer the race dates of 25, 26 and 27 September, tickets are selling fast. I have bought myself a "1-Day Saturday Walkabout Pass" which has since been sold out. This second street race at night is going to be even more exciting and eventful as the organisers have taken into account the valuable feedback from last year's first race and continue to make improvements all round.

    A notable new feature to this year's event is the inclusion of well known artists to grace the occasion and to provide first-class entertainment to visitors.


    Channel News Asia
    4 August 2009

    F1 Rocks to see stars like Beyonce coming for Singapore GP

    By Patwant Singh

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...446820/1/.html
    SINGAPORE: Some of the world's biggest music acts will descend on Singapore in September when the city hosts the F1 night race.

    They will be taking part in the inaugural F1 Rocks event which was launched in London and Singapore on Tuesday.

    Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas and Jacky Cheung are some of the stars that will perform at the US$8 million event.

    It will be held at Fort Canning Park from September 24 to 26, and fans will be able to buy tickets which cost from S$150 to S$210.

    The event is a joint venture between All The Worlds, an arm of Universal Music, and Formula One Management. The event aims to attract non-racing fans like youngsters and women.

    The performance will be packaged into a two-hour television programme, which will be broadcast globally after the Singapore race.

    But the stars are not just here to sing.

    Managing partner, All The Worlds, John Simidian, said: "What we want them to do is come into town, embrace Singapore, star in TV features, hang out in Singapore. And we also want digital rights, sponsorship rights and so on, that's why it has taken more time... We are getting more from the artists than a gig."

    The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is among the local partners. It hopes the big acts will help boost ticket sales, hotel occupancy rates and showcase the city to millions around the world.

    Chief executive, STB, Aw Kah Peng, said: "Obviously the centre is still the race, but these are lifestyle events that are built around it - therefore we hope by doing this, we continue to strengthen the entire season."

    Besides Singapore, the organisers will be expanding F1 Rocks to other races this season and hope to have up to seven stops on the F1 calendar in 2010.


    Ticket Sales Momentum continues to build
    Two more categories of tickets fully sold

    http://www.singaporegp.sg/media/news_090904.php

    4 Sept 2009

    Singapore, 4 Sept 2009 - Singapore GP Pte Ltd announced today that two more categories of tickets to the 2009 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX are sold out, bringing the total number of “sold out” categories to four.

    The three-day walkabout as well as the Esplanade Waterfront Grandstand tickets are no longer available following continuing strong sales. This brings the total tickets taken up to 82% of the announced 249,000 capacity (83,000 per day)

    Our largest grandstand – the Bay Grandstand with well over 20,000 seats is selling equally well. We expect the remaining seats to sell out by early next week.

    On the entertainment front, SGP regrets to announce that the Godfather of World Music, Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour has just confirmed that he is unable to perform at this year’s race due to unexpected family health complications. SGP is currently identifying a replacement for Youssou’s slots at the Circuit Park, and an announcement should be made very shortly.

    On a more positive note, Zone 1 ticket holders will have additional reason to cheer as the Scottish rock band Travis will be adding one extra show during the race weekend. In addition to their Saturday evening performance at the Padang, they will add another show on the Zone 1 Village Stage before the drivers go on track for the 2009 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX.

    Additionally close to 2,000 ticket holders have signed up for the lucky draw to attend the drivers’ autograph session taking place on the evening of 24 September at the Circuit Park. Thirty five pairs of special passes are available to all ticket holders. Registration for the balloting ends on 16 September. Details can be found at www.singaporegp.sg/contest/index.php

    About the FORMULA 1™ SingTel Singapore Grand Prix

    The inaugural 2008 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX took place on 28 September 2008 on a street circuit of public roads around the Marina Bay area. The race was the first FORMULA ONE to be held at night, and the first FORMULA ONE street race in Asia. The 2009 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX will take place from 25-27 September 2009 at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in the heart of downtown Singapore.

    About Singapore GP Pte Ltd

    Singapore GP Pte Ltd is the race promoter for the FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX. It holds five-year renewable rights to stage the Singapore Grand Prix, beginning with the 2008 Season. The company is a partnership between Komoco Motors and regional events company Lushington Entertainments, via its parent company Reef Enterprises.
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  16. #288
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Changi Motorsports Hub

    Motorsports fever has been on the rise since Singapore hosted its first F1 night race on the Marina Bay street circuit last year. This year's forthcoming F1 race in about two weeks will heighten the fever further.

    However, since the F1 race is just once a year, it is insufficient to maintain year-round interest as there is a need to encourage all the other potential developments surrounding motorsports to thrive as well. Hence the decision on a permanent facility such as this Changi Motorsports Hub which could host other races, exhibitions and industry-related events.

    One development the Government is keen to tap is the business potential of the motorsports industry. Top automobile manufacturers such as BMW and Mercedes use motor races as technical and engineering test-beds for their commercial vehicles.

    Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports has said: 'Many of these companies already have a base in Singapore. As Singapore moves up the value chain... there are areas we believe Singapore's high-precision engineering and our past experience will give us a competitive edge.'



    Channel News Asia
    7 September 2009

    Changi motorsports hub bidders reveal proposals

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...003416/1/.html

    SINGAPORE: The three groups bidding to design, build and manage the Changi Motorsports Hub made their presentations to the media on Monday.

    Singapore Agro Agricultural or SAA, a consortium led by Turf City Management, was the first to unveil its proposal. Among its unique selling points is the fact that it has secured the exclusive rights to stage the annual MotoGP series, which is motorcycling's equivalent to Formula One racing.

    Calling the facility the Changi International Speedway or CIS, it will comprise a 4.4-kilometre race track that includes 16 turns. There will also be an 8,000-seater covered grandstand overlooking the ocean, plus a full view of the entire race track.

    Adjacent to it is the Motorsports Centre of Excellence, which can also accommodate another 4,000 on a temporary basis. Together with a third temporary grandstand and walkabout tickets, the CIS can accommodate up to 60,000 people.

    The SAA bid also includes entertainment, shopping, dining and auto workshop facilities which will be made available to the public.

    The second consortium is Sports Services, which is owned by the Haw Par Group. Its S$200m proposal includes a 4.2-kilometre track that is designed by world renowned Herman Tilke. He had designed world-class race tracks in Sepang, Shanghai and Abu Dhabi.

    Going with the policy of "Motorsports for the Masses", this tender bid also sees the Motorsports Hub being used for carnivals, marathons and corporate events.

    The Sports Services Group is confident of bringing Japan's Super GT series and Australia's Super V8 series to thrill fans. Several new local championships will be organised to nurture and groom Singapore drivers.

    A prominent feature of the bid sees the establishment of a motorsports country club, which will cater to 3,000 members.

    Among the three bidders, SG Changi is the only one that is proposing a track below 4 kilometres long. But Mr Thia Yoke Fan, one of four shareholders of the consortium, said it would result in a faster track.

    The 3.7-kilometre long circuit will have a seating capacity of 30,000, including a permanent solar-roof grandstand to accommodate 8,000 seats. Costing about S$280m, it will include a motorsports museum.

    The consortium said it has been given "Letters of Interests" from the popular Japan Super GT Series, Australia's V8 Supercars and FIA GT to race on the track should they win the bid.

    Apart form Mr Thia, the other shareholders of the company are Singaporean Eddie Koh and former Japan GT driver Genji Hashimoto and Fuminori Murhashi.


    (According to the Singapore Sports Council :

    The three consortiums are SG Changi Pte Ltd, Singapore Agro Agriculture Pte Ltd and Sports Services Ltd. The bids include designing, building, financing and managing the Changi Motorsports Hub (CMH).

    The 41—hectare site will be released on a 30—year lease. It is expected to be ready by end—2011 and will feature a 3.5—kilometre track, an 8,000—spectator grandstand and F&B outlets.

    The successful bidder will be awarded the project by the first quarter of 2010. SSC is confident the CMH project will not be delayed like the Sports Hub.

    Oon Jin Teik, CEO of SSC, said: "The Sports Hub is about liquidity issues in a global market due to the financial crisis. This is a much smaller project compared to the Sports Hub and I think it is also one that potential bidders will have to assess their own financial situation.")



    Red Sports
    Aug 28, 2009

    http://redsports.sg/2009/08/28/three...torsports-hub/

    The evaluation panel will comprise Government agencies as well as project consultants. The successful consortium is expected to be appointed by the first quarter of 2010.

    Bids will be evaluated on five criteria:

    1. Ability to position CMH as the preferred venue for international motorsports events (40%)
    2. Contribution towards developing a centre of excellence for motorsports training and education (20%)
    3. Financial and business sustainability of proposal (20%)
    4. Contribution towards developing local motorsports ecosystem (10%)
    5. Attractiveness of commercial mix and events (10%)
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  17. #289
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default 3 Motorsports Hub bids

    The Straits Times
    Sep 8, 2009

    The winner which will develop Changi site to be known early next year

    By Leonard Lim

    SLEEPY Changi could soon stage motorcycling's equivalent of Formula One, have a race driving academy whose graduates include top F1 drivers, or be transformed into a family-friendly shopping and entertainment destination.

    These tantalising features and more were dangled by the three groups bidding to develop the Changi Motorsports Hub, a facility crucial for Singapore to be an international motorsports destination, in separate presentations to the media yesterday.

    The hub will be located on a 41ha site near Changi Airport and is expected to cost between $200 million and $300 million. It will be completed in late 2011.

    Based on tender specifications, it will have a track that can host any race except F1, grandstands for at least 8,000 spectators, and car industry-related amenities.

    Singapore Agro Agriculture's (SAA) trump card is that it has clinched a deal to stage MotoGP at night - a coup which would see Singapore hosting the top tiers of both motorcycling and motor-racing under the stars.

    'That's the jewel in our crown,' said chief operating officer Jason Wong of SAA Holdings, the company behind food-and-retail hub Turf City.

    Sports Services, backed by public-listed leisure and health-care products company Haw Par Corporation, emphasised its strong financial position.

    This is a possible edge given the trouble in securing loans which is preventing another mega project, the $1.87billion Kallang Sports Hub, from getting started.

    Haw Par executive director Chng Hwee Hong said: 'We have a strong balance sheet and a reputation to uphold. Financing is not a main concern, what matters is the project's long-term sustainability.'

    Subscription fees from a 3,000-member MotorSports Country Club will help defray the hub's capital and operating costs. Members will have free use of the 4.2km track - good enough to be an F1-test venue - and the right to rent bonded garage space.


    1. The proposal from Singapore Agro Agriculture. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE ANGRO AGRICULTURE

    2. The proposal from Sports Service. -- PHOTO: SPORTS SERVICES LTD

    3.The proposal from SG Changi. -- PHOTO: SG Changi
    Attached Images Attached Images      

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