Sunday, April 24, 2005

Sevens helps Singapore shed the strict, squeaky-clean image

Further indications that Singapore is prepared to change. I quote from a report by a Malaysian newspaper:

There are clear signals that the republic does not want to make the same mistake of the 60s and 70s when it paid attention only to high-culture such as arts and neglected the revenue-pulling pop culture. ...

... Singapore is willing to play host even if it has to bend some of its strict rules.

Singapore made some leeway on its rules that disallow smoking and boozing in public places, including stadiums. IRB's stand is that “smoking and boozing” is part of enjoyment and entertainment linked to the sport.

It was this package deal that saw Singapore play host to the IRB Sevens series since 2002, except in 2003 when it was not held because of SARS.

And there was beer. Lots of it.

There was plenty of free-flowing beer at the 55ft Concourse which housed many of the invited guests from the corporate world. Beer was also sold freely at other levels.

The crowd turnout was not as big as last year but the event was still a runaway success for the city in terms of the tourist dollar. ...

... Nothing could have been a better showcase of Singapore as a very friendly place on earth. Gone was the strict, squeaky-clean image.

[Source: Rizal Abdullah, The Star Online 24/04/2005]