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Singapore to review Formula 1 deal amid corruption probe

The Singapore government will review the terms of its Formula One Grand Prix deal after its former transport minister was charged with corruption, an official said Monday.

S. Iswaran resigned in January after being charged with 27 offences in a rare top-level graft probe in the city-state.

The case has also ensnared billionaire hotel tycoon Ong Beng Seng, credited with helping to bring F1’s first night race to Singapore in 2008.

Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations Grace Fu told parliament on Monday that “given the allegations of corruption, we are reviewing the terms of the (F1) deal again”.

“There is nothing to suggest, as of now, that either the F1 contracts or other contracts were structured to the disadvantage of the government,” she said.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has been instructed to audit the 2022 edition of the race, Fu said. 

The STB signed a contract in 2007 with the promoter, Ong’s Singapore GP, to organise the night race.

It renewed the agreement in 2012, 2017 and 2022. The deal’s current term will end in 2028.

“Whilst we will review any government contracts to safeguard Singapore’s interest, we remain committed to the F1 Singapore Grand Prix. Preparations for the 2024 race have started,” Fu said.

Iswaran has pleaded not guilty to the charges, most of which relate to corruption.

Among other accusations, he is alleged to have accepted tickets from Ong to high-profile sporting events and stage shows. 

The investigation has gripped Singapore, a global financial hub reputed to be among the least corrupt countries in the world.

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