Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Why is it so difficult to raise fund for the Kallang Sports Hub? It's only S$1.2 billion!


Ah Tan and Ali were seated at the long meeting table with Mr Teo as the chairperson. Mr Teo squeezed his eyebrows as he flipped through the few pieces of papers in his hands. He let out a devastated sigh before speaking.

MR TEO: Gentlemen, this is bad. The Kallang Sports Hub project is giong to be delayed. Apparently, the consortium constructing the Kallang Sports Hub is having difficulty raising the necessary funds to even start the project.
ALI: Alamak! So that means we are definitely not going to complete the project by 2010?
MR TEO (sighed) : I'm afraid not. The earliest completion date is now set to 2012.
AH TAN: Earliest? Which means that it could even be later than 2012?
MR TEO: I will not rule out that possibility. Guess we were really biting more than we can chew when we had decided to build a S$1.2 billion sports complex.
ALI: I beg to defer. How can S$1.2 billion be too much to spend on a sports hub? We are spending S$2.5 billion to build the Marina Coastal Expressway for crying out loud! That is just a stretch of road! You can't watch the Singapore Lions winning the Malaysia Cup on that stretch of road!
AH TAN (nodding): True, true... Furthermore, no matter how many ERP gantries we place on the expressway, it just can't beat the revenue we could generate from the sports events that will take place in the new stadium.
MR TEO: I won't bet on your first comment, because that will have to depend on how many gantries we are going to build and how much we are going to charge. If our proposal to place one 24-hours operating gantry in every 1km and ten dollars gantry fee managed to pass through, that could be a very promising source of revenue.
ALI: Yap! And we could then recover the building cost for MCE in a breeze, and maybe we could even restore our pay cuts!
AH TAN: Sweet!
MR TEO: But back to the topic... Ah Tan, you're right that we're looking at a monstrous loss because of the stadium completion delay. In particular if we can't make it in time to host the Youth Olympics games in 2010!
ALI: But we could still host the games in the old National Stadium right? Anyway we're not planning to demolish it any time soon... Especailly when we still can't find that 1970 time capsule...
AH TAN and MR TEO (shouting together): Don't you dare go there!
MR TEO: Please! Don't ever mention that time capsule again when we're praying so hard that Singaporeans will forget all about it as time goes by!
ALI: Sorry Sir...

All three men paused to think for a moment.

AH TAN: How about we forget about that 6,000-capacity indoor aquatic centre and artificial river offering whitewater rafting? That could save us some cost. I mean, look at it this way... don't you think these two facilities are kind of unnecessary? Instead of building an indoor aquatic centre, we could build an outdoor one, which will definitely cost less! And why build an artificial river when we've got the Kallang canal?
MR TEO (clearing his throat): Erm... are you suggesting that our tourists should do their whitewater rafting in a canal?
AH TAN: Oh... sorry Sir...
MR TEO: And we do need an indoor aquatic centre and in particularly one with air-conditioning! Tell me, Ah Tan, do you have kids?
AH TAN: Er... yes Sir. One boy, five years old this year.
MR TEO: I'm pretty sure he's taking swimming lessons in some swimming pools right?
AH TAN: Yes, he's currently taking swimming lessons at the Singapore Swimming Club.
MR TEO: Don't you find it agonizing to watch him swimming under the hot sun? And aren't you tormented to have to sit around waiting for his lesson to finish each time, having to perspire under the Singapore heat even though you're already under shade?
AH TAN: Ahh! That's really excruciating! That's why most of the time I'll just ask my maid to bring him there!
MR TEO: So you see... we really truly needs an indoor aquatic centre! One with air-conditioning!
ALI (grinning): So can I assume that new dome-shaped national stadium with retractable roof is also going to be built with full air-conditioning?



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