Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Shabby (not Syabas) Malaysia!

F9 for Malaysia's F-One. In 1999, the first year Malaysia staged the Formula One races, the Sepang International Circuit won the award for organising the best F-1 event that year. We've gone from syabas (well done) to shabby. Last week the F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone expressed concern with what he saw at Sepang.

“Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone was quoted saying the Sepang circuit was getting "shabby" from lack of care just hours before yesterday's Malaysian Grand Prix.
"It has become, if you don't mind, like an old house that needs a bit of redecorating," the New Straits Times quoted him as saying in an interview.
"It's starting to get a little shabby and looks a bit tired."His remarks come with wealthy neighbouring Singapore making noises about trying to host a Formula One race, something that has already drawn a sharp rebuke from Malaysia's ministry for sport.

Blogger A. Kadir Jasin asked in his latest posting: .
"What happened. Or is this the start of a psych campaign to bring down the image of Sepang so that the F1 race can shift to Singapore?
The island republic, which has been declared Malaysia's special blue-eyed neighbour and its tight "golf buddy", has already made its bid to host an F1 even from next year."
Columnist Zainul Arifin On Wednesday also writes on the need to be on our toes to keep the F1 event in Malaysia. I think he is trying to say Dr M was right about the merits of the F1, still seen by many as one of the former prime minister's "mega projects". Zainul is also trying to say, I think, that even though those guys in Singapore may be 10 years behind Dr M in terms of foresight, they can steal the show from right under our noses if we don't wake up from our sleep.
Fauziah Ismail, a journo who loves aeroplanes and F1, blogged on Singapore's kiasuness earlier.


  1. Yes brother,it will be such a shame
    to lose the F1 under our noses.Is the F1 circuit that big to be maintained well? I have not been there,but I heard it is pretty big.

  2. Anonymous2:12 pm

    Psych campaign or not, it doesn't matter. We all know very well ourselves how we have first world infrastructure but third world mentality and maintenance. No need for me to cite examples, we've all seen it.

    As a F1 fan myself, I hope that the SIC (are they still the one managing the track/race?) do buck up and help improve the entire F1 experience in Malaysia. Intimately within the F1 world, Sepang holds a lot of fond memories and special mention due to its many unique factors as a F1 venue.

    I really don't want Sepang F1 to someday be associated with filth and security issues like the Interlagos track in Brazil. That track has been famous for the wrong reasons being really dirty and notoriously unsafe with daring robberies and theft at the pit garage itself.

    Now, Interlagos is still very much fixed in the F1 calendar despite all the problems. That's because many great F1 drivers hailed from Brazil, including Ayrton Senna. Bernie just can't take F1 away from Brazil.

    But what is there to hold Bernie back from dropping Sepang track for other tracks around the world? SIC, please buck up.

  3. Zainul said: "they (S'pore) can steal the show from right under our noses if we don't wake up from our sleep."
    Waking up from sleep is one thing, but getting out of bed requires garguantuan effort. For too long we go for the longest, the tallest etc.Sustainability is far from being a Malaysian trait. Blame the elected caretakers who care more for their own backs than our backyards.

  4. And you have the lady minister who says Singapore should not compete with us. It is like when the neighbor keeps her doll that when carelessly leaves around, she tells her daddy not to take to the neighbours. Puerile and infantile, no?

  5. Anonymous3:23 pm

    Auyongtc has hit the nail on the head..she is right. Too many examples of first class infrastructure and 3rd class mentality. Shabby in maintenance from toilets, public transport vehicles, public parks, resort lakes, resthouses and what not...probably except by elections and just before general elections. But we have "syabas" mindsets from the zoo. Sri Gading MP just suggested we have separate LRT coaches for the genders. I like to propose too, separate "lifts", separate "entrances" to public buildings, separate "roads", separate "parliaments". And my great idea, our local scientists should seriously study to implement how men can give birth to men and women giving birth to women. We can then all come clean on Syabas Malaysia!!

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  7. Rocky!

    I hate calling people morons but consider this! If there is someone, or more than one persons, or a mole, or moles, in high places enjoying the protection of the power that be, given the power to control the media for example, and actually working for the interest of Singapore, what would that person, or persons, mole or moles, instruction from the republic be! The answer is "to make Malaysia look very bad to the eyes of the world! I just wish Kadir Jasin can say it as it is! The way I see it if the media were to be believed, Malaysia is not a safe country for investors or anyone to live in, and I am sure Bernie Ecclestone is reading the same message and he now wants to move his F1 to S'pore!

  8. Anonymous4:11 pm

    Dato' Kadir asked: "Is this the start of a psych campaign to bring down the image of Sepang so that the F1 race can shift to Singapore?"

    My answer: Perhaps Kadir has been mixing with too many Malays, which explains his suspicion rather than him going to SIC and check out how correct Bernie was.

    Dato', come on la, get rid of that typical Malaysian Malay Malaise (haha!) whereby you immediately suspect 'others' and think negatively of them before looking at your own backyard.

    You're starting to sound like a Malaysian politician! Anyway, I'm still glad that you expressed your concern about SIC.

    Due to my work, I go to the Sepang circuit a bit more often than most people. In fact, I'm going there again on Friday (gosh, the 13th!) for an assignment.

    This year alone, I have been there about a dozen times and yep, Bernie was spot-on when he commented on SIC's condition.

    The sadder part was news about Singapore working on hosting an F1 round has been around for so long and yet, SIC didn't do anything to give SIC (its building, pits, paddock, toilets, seats, the whole jingbang) a makeover, at the very least.

    If there ever is a 'psych campaign to bring down the image of Sepang', as Kadir suspiciously called it, well I can safely tell you all that SIC is the campaign manager, then!

    We only got ourselves to blame if we lose the hosting to Singapore. Call me a defeatist but I have a feeling that we're not going to host F1 rounds every year forever.

    Some local clown talked about Malaysia hosting it at one end of the season while Singapore doing it at the opposite end.

    It was immediately shot down by someone in FIA (not sure whether it was Bernie or someone else or a team principal) who said that it was silly for the teams to fly twice to SE Asia to race.

    And for M'sia & S'pore to do it one after the other is just as pointless.

    Well, that's how I see it. My personal view. Many will disagree, of course.

    What say you, Rocky?


  9. Hey!

    Can't be all that bad if Bernie pulled out we can always have the biggest parking lot in the world at Sepang!

  10. Hey!

    THis is all about trying to erase Mahathir's legacy, Malays are mean, mean people, or rather the Malay leadership? Kasihan saya melihat kesemua nya ini!

  11. Anonymous4:43 pm

    Oh yeah, go to our beloved Sepang International Circuit and you can see a few spots on the ceiling where stalactites are being formed!

    I'm not kidding you! For the past few years, whenever I go to SIC I will be at the upper floor of the pit area and I can see water dripping from the ceiling at a few spots.

    I'm not sure what type of water, where from or why. But I'm sure it went on for long enough that the plaster on the ceiling has been reshaped to form such natural wonders!

    Now, is there any other F1 circuit that has such an attraction? I'm so proud (sob)...


  12. The money is in the evening; if they race in the evening here, it will be realtime satellite daytime in the west where the adverts will draw in more dough. Sepang should preempt those kiasus down south by flooding the sepang circuit with lights so that it can be raced at night here.

    That lawyer minister should have said something like that instead of something else which shows little thought went through the head.

    We cannot continue to be blockhead logs and just kneejerk defensiveness about nationalism, thinking it's the smart thing to do; we should instead practise pragmatise and foresight.

    And move faster.

    Meanwhile, i fire a shot : what the f'k has happened to the Shah Alam stadium? Toyo care to answer?

    A billion here, ten billion there, 394 billion debts, 12 billion study loans unpaid.

    Keep it up; we'll be bankrupt soon enough.

  13. If Singapore wants it they will get it. They have the money, marketing savvy, commercial sponsors,goverment support and most importantly the work ethic to pull this off in the long run. They will be able to market it and sell it to sponsors who will get back the commercial returns.The only reason they did not even try earlier was that the goverment didnt want to budge on certain structural changes on the street circuit needed to make it happen such as getting rid of pavments, taking out certain dividers on the roads ,etc. This is what i heard when I was working on some sports events in Singapore. The street circuit study was done at least 5 years ago. For them to now say they want F1 means it is now a national project for the country.
    I think the carelessness has set in at Sepang because they are booked year round which may equate in Malaysian mentality that all's good. But most of the bookings do not utlise the full track - car clubs, testing for teams, drag races, etc. So the rest of the track and facilities are left to rot. We still have nothing to show for having the first F1 track in Asia. Alex Yoong's little adventure was strictly a money move. There is no motoring culture to build on our facilities.A1 is a poorer cousin and we will see if they can sustain when the Sheikh's money dries up. I'd like to see Malaysia step up to the plate. Let SIngapore have their race, night or day. Let's do what ever it takes to keep ours and actually build on what we have or else not only will we have Pasquale's largest car park we'll also have the largest venue for rave parties in Asia.

  14. Anonymous5:48 pm

    I read somewhere ago that they are suggesting another F1 Race track in Johore new development; the race will done around the city like the one in Morocco. Don't know how true is that?

  15. Anonymous6:06 pm

    One would expect after being labelled as "shabby" and "tired" by the F1 boss no less, the powers that be would spring from their deep slumber and start doing something about it. That you'd see a concerted effort in sprucing up the place and make it look refreshed.

    For once, show them Malaysia really Boleh.

    A year or so from now when Singapore gets to host the F1, perhaps at Malaysia's expense ... we already know what happens next. You get nitwit ministers blaming shadow enemies and conspiracies.
    The undertones are already there mind you, while we sit on our beautiful behinds.

  16. Anonymous6:11 pm

    agree on the filthy and security issue. places like Sepang F1 circuit really need special attention, especially the event is broadcasted to 100-200 million people around the world.

    meaning, 200-400 million eyes are watching the event, and also the circuit condition.

    close one eye oso very difficult. how to close 200 - 400 million eyes at the same time? LOL


  17. Anonymous6:12 pm

    What Bernie said is actually worse than that. In the Sunday Times interview - the following sentences are:

    The circuit itself is fine, it’s the general structure around (that needs work). Like I said, it’s very hard to keep it tidy and clean.

    There is rubbish all over the place and it’s not really a good sign for Malaysia. We’re on worldwide television, and it needs to look good, much like in the beginning.

    .. sounds terrible.. but typical Malaysian syndrome.

  18. Anonymous7:33 pm

    As usual,we use Singapore as the bogey man. When are we going to take a hard look at ourselves and own up to our shortcomings? I'm surprised that Kadir Jasin has stooped to such insinuations. Is it a reflection of the Malaysian Malay's low self-esteem? Singapore is a convenient bashing boy but in the end it does nothing for our reputation. We build and build but we cannot maintain anything in good condition. Why should we be so defensive when people point out our shortcomings? If the criticism is deserved, let us rectify the mistake instead of blaming others. Wake up, Malaysia!

  19. Anonymous7:59 pm

    How ironic if they are trying to erase Tun M's legacy but if I'm not mistaken the SIC chairman is Tun M's son. Is there any connection here? Will it be better (with support) if its someone else's son managing it? What i know is Mad Mustapha did a good job last time.

  20. Anonymous9:22 pm

    Maybe you ought to look at this webpage

  21. ...typical.
    Can you see this?
    Petronas Twin Towers...notice those ugly looking Barriers? And the fountains (one or two that don't work?)
    The RAPID been what?8-9 years? and how many carriages do we have? TWO! For crying out loud, it doesn't mean that you stretch the track, means you get more passengers! FUCKING ADD ON MORE CARRIAGES!
    Sepang...beautiful SIC!...err which part? All I say that was beautiful were the girls! OK, the race too...other surroundings? S&%T Hole!
    I don't mean to sound like I am complaining and complaining.....but typical, we build the best and let MONKEYS MAINTAIN IT!
    Give the maintenance contract to some cronies.......some more lah!

  22. I for one never liked the idea of us hosting the F1 in the 1st place. That old man said we need it and now we have it and it looks like we are going to lose it and in the process we have spent how much? Its definitely not pittance I can tell you. Now to save it, they are going to spend millions more, giving the contract to friends and kins of another Prime Minister.

    Everytime they come up with a grand project, their friends and kins cum in anticipation.

    I hope we are not going to lick Berne's or whatever his name is balls just to go on hosting this noisy affair.

  23. Anonymous11:10 pm

    dude..its monaco not morocco..
    bernie owns F1. Having it in singapore is just another business deal. monopoly, advertising power, name rights goes to his company.
    "I am Formula 1"
    what ever it is i love SIC.

  24. What to do? The $$$ allocated for maintenance all used up to dismantle " a bridge" alredi... *wink* *wink* And dun forget the Malaysia 4-3-2-1 principle... 40% for the Minister, 30% for the deputy, 20% for the deputy's "ma chai" and the last 10% for the actual work.

  25. Anonymous12:18 am

    What we can do, others can do better. Much, much better. So give to them la.

    We always start with a bang and then head downwards. 10 years already and we really are old, jaded. We just cannot keep up with the times. Bernie was really telling us off. He was just being polite but we just can't and don't want to read in between the lines.

    So why do we want to keep holding on to Sepang? Open it up for weeknights and weekend racing for Mat Rempits and charge them. Can have on and off course betting too. We will make more money this way I think. Nightly and weekend racing and wheelings. Hmmmmm.

  26. Anonymous12:23 am

    With our present PM and family having a jolly good time with his S'porean counterparts we wont be surprised that there is a chance to bring down F1 locally by some ppl. First, we never know if F1 in S'pore who will benefit, maybe some "local" rempit boss and brother in law. Secondly, it is also a good chance to put the lights out of Dr M's legacy and dreams. Dont forget his son is in SIC. Killing 2 birds with 1 stone, why not?

  27. Anonymous12:26 am

    S'pore wont get F1 la. We Msians are knwon to be corrupt and am sure we can afford to pay afew millino here n there. No big deal!

  28. Anonymous10:00 am

    To whoever posted:

    dude ... its monaco not morocco ...

    => oops, sorry ... tks for the correction ... :)

  29. Anonymous10:03 am


    There're so many ways to erase what's written on a page. Just ask my 6 years old son on what he did to his school writing book. Instead of using a rubber eraser, you can just use your "air lior". It's free! Use it more often, the spot will be so bad and that's the time for you to tear the whole page off! Permanently erased.


  30. Anonymous6:55 pm


    The Scribe was a disappointment in responding to my comment on the Sepang shit.

    He actually said 'Tak apalah...' for suffering from that stupid Malay malaise (that blame-other-people attitude) and went on and on about him proud of being a Malay. Dah la suffering from a 2nd illness (that Tak apalah attitude), dia lari tajuk pulak...

    I couldn't believe it. Rubbish.

  31. Anonymous9:08 pm

    Singapore circuit layout revealed

    morocco ..belly dancing (.)

  32. Anonymous2:59 am

    what to do...they let some jokers managed the track...when someone more experienced should be running it..:D
    isn't the SIC under one of mahathir's son?

  33. Anonymous10:39 am

    I wonder what Ahmad Mustaffa - the former GM who left in January has got to say about this