by Tan Wah Piow
I won’t be proud if my country is defined by a Casino.
This thought preoccupied me after watching BBC’s ‘Amazing Hotels’ featuring Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands.
The 3-billion pound investment with 70% of its revenue generated by the casino, is described as a small city. With its ambition to be the biggest hotel in the world, and it’s audacious architecture, and millions of Instagram images posted by tourists from the vanishing pool in the sky, it defines Singapore.
“The hotel is hoping it will be seen as a symbol of Singapore, with aspirations of becoming an iconic landmark..,” said the presenter.
It already is, I thought.
But is it in the same cultural league as Sydney Opera House defining Australia?
Does anyone wants her country to be defined by a Casino with high rollers forking out $26,000 a night for a suite, served by 80% of the workforce from abroad?
Foreigners would soon make up one third of the population, said the presenter.
Hard working, no doubt they are. But they don’t care, do they?
At least I know Marina Bay Sands is not on my list of 101 places to visit before I die! Neither is Monte Carlo.
At its opening in 2010, Marina Bay Sand was billed as the world’s most expensive standalone casino property at S$8 billion, including the land cost.