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Singapore to review F1 deal, audit 2022 race after graft probe

Bloomberg • 2 min read
Singapore to review F1 deal, audit 2022 race after graft probe
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Singapore will review the terms of its F1 Grand Prix deal and will audit a previous race following a corruption probe involving former Transport Minister S. Iswaran, a ruling party lawmaker said on Monday.

Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations Grace Fu told in parliament that “there is nothing to suggest as of now” that either the F1 contracts or other contracts were structured in a way they would disadvantage the government.

“But as members would appreciate given the allegations of corruption, we are reviewing the terms of the deal again,” she said, referring to the contract between the Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore GP Private to organize the F1 night race in the city-state.

Singapore has also asked the Tourism Board to conduct an audit of the race back in 2022, “of which accounts are ready for audit,” Fu said.

Iswaran, 61, resigned last month after being charged with corruption in the city-state’s biggest political scandal in almost four decades. The former minister, who’s out on bail, was slapped with 27 charges including allegedly obtaining tickets to musicals and soccer matches in the UK. He denies the charges and has pledged to defend his innocence in court. 

He and property tycoon Ong Beng Seng were arrested in July in a case that’s challenged Singapore’s reputation for clean governance at a time when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is seeking to step aside after almost two decades of leading the country.

See also: Foreign banks here told Singapore is not 'tilting' towards China in series of 'unusual' briefings: FT

Among the charges include two counts of corruption, 24 counts of obtaining “valuable things” from someone he had business dealings with as a public servant, and one for obstructing justice. If convicted, he faces fines and a possible jail term.

Singapore’s F1 contract was first signed in 2007, and renewed in 2012, 2017 and 2022. The current deal will end in 2028. The Ministry of Trade and Industry previously said the terms of all the agreements were carefully considered and that all preparations for the F1 Singapore Grand Prix this year are on track.

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