Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Today this soldier wrote to TODAY...

An icon or a costly mistake?
Tuesday • September 13, 2005

THE $600-million Esplanade sprang a leak soon after it opened in October 2002 — as if to preview the act Singing in the Rain, which was brought in at great cost.

To date, it boasts only one major local production — Phua Chu Kang (PCK) the Musical — which had lots of local flavour but questionable international appeal.

Some friends try to have me understand that art cannot simply be measured in monetary terms alone.

"So what if they lost $30 million in 2004? Publicly-funded schools make 'losses' too, you know," they argue.

Basic economic principles make a case for subsidising goods that would otherwise be under-consumed.

But what happens when you subsidise a thing and there is still overcapacity? You waste money.

Before the Esplanade, Singapore had no lack of performance venues: Victoria Concert Hall, NUS Cultural Centre and Indoor Stadium, to name a few.

Admittedly, none boasted state-of-the-art acoustic systems, which were supposed to draw world-class acts from all over the globe.

It has been three years since Jose Carreras, or anyone of his prominence, visited.

It seems almost comical to me that the arts community that was promised $50 million over five years would receive a $600-million performance venue most could not afford to rent without subsidies or grants, much less fill to capacity — because, for most of us, art is a luxury we can neither afford nor understand.

Then there is the view from some that the $600 million would have provided the boost to a floundering construction sector, that would in turn help lift an economy out of a deeply mired recession.

However, haven't our leaders said that Keynesian fiscal pump-priming was not an option for Singapore due to our high propensity for imports?

To some, the Esplanade may be an icon. To me, it was an expensive mistake.

by Charles Tan Meah Yang (The writer, a Singaporean,is a full-time NS man.)

Steady lah soldier! Limpeh 200% agree with you! The fuck-ugly Ass-planet is really waste of money! And for fuck?!! So that some chee bye PAP ministers can how lian and yaya papaya say we got one more world class this and that? KNN world class JOKE understand or not?!! This is call 打肿脸皮充胖子 or in this case 打肿 lan jiao 充 tua liap! HAHAHAHA!!!

I can tell you Ass-planet and those NAC (National Ass Council, hahaha!!) people sure sibei du-lan and reply in a day or two to "counter" this thinking soldier. Face it fuckers! Whatever clever reply you are going to come up with, a mistake is a mistake! So kiss my ASS! HAHAHAHA!!!

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