No privatisation for Changi Airport Terminal 5, says Government

ST reported today that the government has ruled out the privatization of the new Changi Airport Terminal 5 like some other airports in the world. It would be 100% state-owned through the government-held Changi Airport Group (CAG). It is slated to open at the end of next decade. The decision met with the approval of analysts, who said having the Government wholly run the show ensures that Changi Airport will not focus on profits at the expense of service standards and efficiency. Mr Abbas Ismail, course manager for aviation management and services at Temasek Polytechnic, said, “Ultimately we have to ask ourselves: Do we want to be a premium airport where we build capacity ahead of demand and put user comfort ahead of everything else, or do we want to become just another airport that makes money, is slightly ahead of the pack but is nothing revolutionary?” He added that private participation and competition for the sake of competition can backfire. Privatized Sports Hub suffers woes In contrast, the full privatization of the Singapore Sports Hub has been a disaster with all kinds of problems cropping up. The Singapore Sports Hub comes under a 25-year Public-Private Partnership agreement between Sport Singapore and SportsHub Pte Ltd. It is run by SportsHub Pte Ltd, which is a consortium led by the French’s Bouygues group. In its latest woes, it was reported that 7 senior members, including the deputy managing director, acting managing director, director of marketing and communication and director of facility management, had resigned from SportsHub Pte Ltd. Some netizens even wanted the minister for MCYS, Grace Fu, to be sacked over the Sports Hub mess. But Minister Grace Fu seems to attribute problems in Sports Hub to it being in a “start-up” phase, even though it has been operating for some 2 years already. Early this year, Grace Fu told the Parliament that the Sports Hub operators were still in the “start-up stage”. She defended the private operators, “The operators are finding their feet, sorting out the operational problems and understanding the costs of operations. Sports Hub has acknowledged the challenges faced, and, with our regular feedback, is continuously looking to improve its operations.” But with 4 parties inside the private consortium, it is going to be hard for them to sort things out and agree on the direction to take.     Source: straitstimes