Preparations for F1 Singapore Grand Prix to continue amid probe into Iswaran, Ong Beng Seng
Preparations for the upcoming Formula One Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix 2023 in September will “continue as planned” despite an ongoing corruption probe involving key figures behind the event.
“We remain committed to work with all partners involved to ensure the success of the event,” said the Singapore Tourism Board’s executive director for sports and wellness, Ms Ong Ling Lee, in a statement on Friday.
She was responding to media queries regarding the race, which is set to take place from Sept 15 to 17 at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
The future of the race was called into question following the announcements earlier in July that Transport Minister S. Iswaran and tycoon Ong Beng Seng are being investigated by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).
Both men are known to be key figures in making Singapore’s pitch to become a part of the Formula One circuit, with Mr Ong owning the rights to the Singapore Grand Prix.
CPIB said last Friday that Mr Iswaran and Mr Ong were arrested on July 11 and are assisting with investigations into a case it had uncovered. The anti-graft agency did not give details on the nature of the probe.
Last week, race promoter Singapore GP had also said in a statement that planning and preparations for the race were going ahead.
Singapore GP said it understands that CPIB’s investigations are ongoing, and that it is “not at liberty to provide any further information”.
A contract for Singapore to host the event for another seven years was signed in 2022 bringing the event back to Marina Bay after a two-year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The renewal was the fourth and longest extension of the race thus far.
On July 12, race organisers announced the full entertainment line-up for the event, with the likes of American band Kings Of Leon and British acts Culture Club, Groove Armada and Madness on the billing.
They join previously announced headlining acts, namely American rapper-singer Post Malone and English pop star Robbie Williams.