Friday, September 17, 2010

The YOG Saga Continues

Weeks after it ended, the millstone that is the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) continues to haunt the Singapore government. Questions from Singaporeans about the cost of the YOG which ballooned from the estimated $104 million to $387 million just refused to go away.

Seeking to douse the flames this time was Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Vivian Balakrishnan. He has been in the firing line for the Games since day 1 and now says, “"We were plain wrong."

Mr. Balakrishnan said in comments published by local media that the government had underestimated the requirements and cost of the YOG. Even admitting that mistakes were made however, the minister still insisted that Singapore benefited from the 12 day event as it showcased Singapore’s ability to host big events.

I applauded Mr. Balakrishnan for taking some responsibility for the YOG as mistakes were made but frankly I doubt that the benefits of the YOG are worth $387 million. Like most Singaporeans, I just don’t feel that the YOG is worth that much money! On average, Singapore spent over $32 million a day on the YOG. In a country that steadfastly refused to have a minimum wage, we spent $32 million a day on an event that did not bring in any tangible benefits.

Any “long-term” benefits resulting from the YOG are questionable at best, so despite Mr. Balakrishnan’s best efforts, nothing has changed. Singaporeans are still harping on the YOG.


Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention. Singapore is now internationally famous for all the wrong reasons. I have a friend who visited me recently in Sgp. Usually he comes with his wife and kids in tow. When I asked why they follow him. He said his daughter kept telling him they throw bloggers in jail in Sgp. You reap what you sow.

Ghost said...

Uh...that has nothing to do with the YOG. Beside the case against the blogger who was picked up is pending, he's not in jail

Anonymous said...

Trust, like respect has to be earned. By not disclosing when the over budget amount is so huge, the govt is expecting too much from citizens. If VB had tried to be thrifty as claimed by some people, there is no reason why the actual expenses cannot be broken down and published, after all this is public money. If the PM does not demand it, it only shows that the PM is complicit for whatever covering up that is apparent.

Yet this is the govt who would go to great lengths to prosecute opposition party members like the late JBJ and Chee Soon Juan for petty and paltry sums like taxi fares!!!

Disgraceful and prejudicial conduct and behaviour indeed.

Ghost said...

Personally, I have no problem in the total spent as long as it is well-spent. Currently I and a lot of Singaporeans don't think it is and that's the government's biggest problem.