SINGAPORE: Singapore’s skyline has changed yet again since the last Formula One race. This year, one of the newest icons at the fringe of the circuit, Marina Bay Sands (MBS), has come up with a series of F1-related packages to welcome race enthusiasts from Singapore and beyond.
The Sands SkyPark, which is about 200 metres above ground, offers an unparalleled view of the race track.
Overseas visitors can also enjoy free shuttle service to MBS from the airport.
A month before the race, F1 fans can experience hitting over 200kph in the Williams F1 simulation car.
F1 world champion Jensen Button will also make an appearance at The Shoppes at MBS two days before the race begins.
Avalon, a Los Angeles nightclub set to open at MBS next January, will host a two-night musical festival, starting 23 September.
MBS president and CEO Thomas Arasi said: “Singapore has been described as one of the best F1 venues in the world and as the city’s newest icon, Marina Bay Sands cannot wait to be part of this year’s thrilling event.”
A VISITOR, who was jailed four months for trying to cheat a roulette dealer in the Marina Bay Sands casino and for lying to the police, failed to get his sentence reduced.
But Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong said on Thursday that Ashraf Zohaib, a Pakistani, should count himself lucky that the prosecution had not appealed.
Hearing the first appeal by a casino cheat, CJ Chan observed that courts consider casino offences to be very serious. The top judge also noted that Kipuyo Lemburis Israel, 35, a Tanzanian, was sentenced to nine months in jail by a district court for a similar offence on Aug 16.
Ashraf, 25, who works in the agricultural industry back home, had bet $25 on the winning number on June 14.
Not content with his winnings of $850, he slipped an additional $1,000 cash chip under the $25 chip so as to receive $35,000 more.
Suspecting something amiss, casino staff checked the closed-circuit television footage and Ashraf was handed over to the police. Instead of owning up, he lied that his friend, also from Pakistan, had instigated him to cheat. The friend, who was also arrested for abetting in the attempted cheating, was let go after Ashraf came clean later.
SINGAPORE: A Singapore company has banned its management from the country’s two new casinos following reports a local businessman lost a fortune at the gaming tables, its founder said Friday.
Mohamed Salleh, chief executive officer of retail and property firm Second Chance, said he had applied for casino exclusion orders for himself and six of his top personnel using a system designed to keep gambling addicts out.
“A few days ago I read about this Henry Quek… that lost 26 million (19.2 million US) dollars at this casino, so I was thinking, why not I include all my top executives and my finance people?” he told AFP.
Media reports said Quek, a local seafood industry magnate, had squadered the amount over a three-day gambling spree at the Resorts World Sentosa casino.
Mohamed said his decision was also prompted by a case in which one of his managers stole gold items from the firm to pay off gambling debts before the local casinos opened the doors.
“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” said Mohamed.
Financial group DBS said Thursday that Singapore’s two casino resorts are expected to contribute two billion Singapore dollars (1.5 billion US) to the country’s economy this year.
After church and civic groups raised concern over the social impact of legalising casinos, Singapore is allowing individuals or their families to apply for exclusion orders on “problem gamblers” barring them from even entering the casinos. — AFP
SINGAPORE, Aug 26 – Revenues from two new casino-resorts could contribute as much as S$2 billion ($1.47 billion) annually to Singapore’s economy, which is expected by the government to grow by up to 15 percent this year, DBS Bank said on Thursday.
The two resorts have already contributed S$470 million or 0.3 percentage points to gross domestic product , which grew 17.9 percent in the first half of 2010 from a year earlier, DBS economist Irvin Seah wrote in a report.
“If the GDP contributions by the integrated resorts continue to rise at the same pace going forward, we can expect full-year GDP contributions of about S$2 billion from these projects,” Seah said in the note.
That would translate into adding 0.7 percentage points to GDP for the whole of 2010, he said.
Singapore is counting on the two resorts opened earlier this year by Malaysia’s Genting Bhd and Las Vegas Sands to help fuel tourism and economic growth. It hopes to double visitor arrivals to 17 million by 2015.
In July alone, at least 1 million people visited Singapore, the highest number the city-state ever saw in a month, after seven consecutive months of record monthly visitor arrivals.
“However, the contributions derived from the GDP statistics reflect only the direct impact of the IRs. The overall economic gains to the economy are likely to be significantly larger if the spinoffs to other industries are taken into account,” he said.
SINGAPORE: A DBS research report says Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands would have added 0.3 per cent or S$470 million to Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product in the first half of the year.
The report says the two integrated resorts (IRs) can be expected to contribute S$2 billion or 0.7 per cent to the full-year GDP growth.
The government expects the Singapore economy to grow by between 13% and 15% this year.
The DBS report adds that overall economic gains to the economy are likely to be significantly larger if the spinoffs to other industries are taken into account.
This would include the “value add” that were generated during the construction phase of the projects, more MICE (meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition) activities as well as the increase in retail and F&B spending arising from higher tourist arrivals.
The IRs are also expected to complement high profile events such as the F1 and the Youth Olympic Games this year, creating even greater synergistic spinoffs for the rest of the economy.
The report adds that the IRs have also contributed significantly to the economy in terms of job creations ahead of their official openings.
It’s inevitable that when one mentions “Tiffany”, the iconic Tiffany Blue Box comes to mind.
This is exactly what inspired the newly opened Tiffany & Co. store at The Shoppes in Marina Bay Sands to add subtle touches of blue throughout its entire design. Reminiscent of the New York flagship store, decorative artworks with bronze wheat leaf grilles fill the store.
On view in the store is a special one-of-a kind Dolphin brooch by Jean Schlumberger. Also known as the ‘Iguana brooch’, this exquisite piece was gifted to Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton to celebrate their reunion after he completed filming ‘The Night of the Iguana’ in 1964.
Another highlight adding to the sparkle is the Tiffany Garden collection. This is a new collection with rose-cut diamonds to celebrate nature and spring’s ritual of renewal. The icing on the cake would be the Singapore Poker Chip charm specially designed for Marina Bay Sands.
Designed in true American luxury style, the store presents a luxurious but warm and welcoming environment for shoppers.
The overall architecture relects the brand’s heritage of timeless style with a fresh and contemporary twist.
Using lighter color palette the store manages to bring out a feeling of happiness -a legendary place where dreams come true, a feeling familiar to customers shopping at Tiffany no matter where they are.
A RICH Singaporean man, who lost S$26mil in a three-day gambling spree at the casino in Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), helms one of Singapore’s biggest seafood distributors.
Mr Henry Quek plans to sue a world-renowned casino for loaning him a huge sum of money to gamble without first checking his financial position, reported China Press.
The Straits Times reported that Mr Quek is the managing director of Far Ocean Sea Products, a seafood processing and trading company operating out of Fishery Port Road in Jurong.
The businessman, who is in his 50s, is also the president of the Seafood Industries Association Singapore, a group which comprises local companies that process, manufacture and trade in seafood.
The youngest son in his family, Mr Quek started out managing Kiang Huat Sea Products, a seafood auctioning business set up by his father in 1980.
In the 1990s, the company merged with Far Ocean, also set up by his father, and grew over the years into a multi-million dollar business.
It exports seafood from squid to swordfish to restaurants, food factories and wholesalers around the world.
The company also added food processing and meat products distribution to its portfolio in recent years.
According to a legal document, Mr Quek was loaned S$500,000 for gambling by the casino in March and the loan was later increased to S$2mil the following month.
He also claimed that he had experienced losing and winning money amounting to a few hundred thousand dollars in each gambling session and once it reached as high as S$6mil and yet he could still get a loan by just filling up an application form.
When his losses exceeded S$4mil, the businessman said his girlfriend cried and begged the casino not to loan him any more money.
In spite of that, the casino staff told him that he could continue getting loans although he had exceeded the credit limit.
A spokesman of the casino said the company could not comment on their customers.
SINGAPORE : It was cracks on the ride that grounded Universal Studio’s roller coaster, the Battlestar Galactica.
Releasing its preliminary findings, Resorts World Sentosa said that after months of load testing, higher than anticipated stress and vibration levels caused fatigue cracks to develop in a welded component on the roller coaster’s seat-post support.
This is the part which attaches the coaster’s seat to its frame.
The original welded component will now be replaced with a new machined part.
Additional strength-reinforcement parts will also be added.
Battlestar Galactica consists of two individual roller coasters running on parallel ‘cross-twisted’ tracks, with the ‘Human’ coaster designed as a seated ride car and the ‘Cylon’ coaster, a suspended ride car.
While the fault was found only on the ‘Human’ coaster, extensive inspection and testing of the ‘Cylon’ coaster indicated that additional machined and strength-reinforcement parts will also be added for maximum safety.
Resorts World said it is common for theme parks to conduct some re-engineering on new rides to address mechanical issues that may not have been completely anticipated by the original computer-generated designs for the ride.
It will be some time more before Battlestar Galactica re-opens.
After the new parts are installed, there will be another round of testing and inspection, which will begin next month.
Authorities will then have to re-certify the ride.
Battlestar Galactica has been closed since March.
On 25 March 2010, during its morning test cycle, Battlestar Galactica experienced a component failure of a ride seat-post support that resulted in the detachment of a seat assembly.
No one was on the ride and no one was injured. The ride was immediately shut down for investigative inspection and testing. – CNA/ms
SingTel Grid Girls posing (courtesy of techielobang.com)
Clad in fiery red figure-hugging outfits, flashing perky smiles and lively personalities, Singtel’s Grid Girls have been unveiled and are all geared up for this year’s Formula 1 races. Or are they?
If, according to one of last year’s grid girls Cheryl Tay, 22, they are “not race queens nor just a flesh parade”, the girls have a long way to go when it comes to knowing simple Formula One facts.
The Straits Times reports that most of the twelve stunners thought British driver Lewis Hamilton was last year’s overall champion, when it was in fact his current team-mate Jenson Button who clinched the top prize. Only two of the dozen named the winner correctly.
The 25-year-old Hamilton, being the face of Tag Heuer and Hugo Boss, is arguably the most recognisable of all the F1 drivers. The fact that he once dated Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger could also explain why he was probably the easiest driver to name for the Grid Girls, who were tested on their F1 “knowledge”.
The girls’ lack of interest in the sport also raised eyebrows last year when it was revealed not all the grid girls were avid race fans. While some could rattle off names of drivers and teams, others, like business development executive Fadilah Amir Hamzah,23, admit they do not follow the sport much.
“Just because I don’t follow it, it doesn’t mean I can’t be involved in it,” she said at the time.
The current top 12, mostly students aged 18-25, will brandish their claws and vie for a prize of S$10,000 by taking up a series of quizzes and challenges including racing in a simulator.
Out of more than 300 hopefuls who auditioned, 51 were selected to hold signs indicating the nationalities and car numbers of drivers during the Sept 24 to 26 races.
Despite being surefire camera targets at the races, it’s not all smiling and posing for the head-turning dozen. The girls will stand at the start of the races and guide the revving race cars into their positions on the start-line grid. They will also use flags to guide the daredevil drivers on race day.
Check out some of the auditions here:
Fame, exposure and countless opportunities beckon for these leggy, young beauties. But perhaps as faces of the Singtel Singapore Grand Prix, it can’t hurt to do a bit of research and to know the sport they will represent.