Singapore’s footing a $20m bill for the Trump-Kim summit, and that’s not surprising

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

We knew that hosting the greatest show on earth would come at a steep cost, but at least everyone knows now that the historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will have Singapore forking out about S$20 million. Ooh wee!

During a press conference at the International Media Centre this morning, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong confirmed that the landmark meeting will have a landmark cost to the nation in the estimated tune of $20 million — a cost that the government is apparently glad to fork out.

“We may be able to recoup a little bit of that but I think it is a cost that we’re willing to pay and it’s our contribution to an international endeavor, which is in our profound interests,” Yahoo News quoted him as saying. He refused to list down the breakdown on the summit expenses, however, saying that we “will miss out the really important things” if we were that calculative.

Judging by the preparations across the island done so far for the summit, $20 million seems accurate. Security has been ramped up in both Tanglin and Sentosa, the sites of three venues involved in the meeting. Special zones have been designated in those places, with canopies, barriers, and personnel installed at checkpoints to filter out troublemakers.

A confident Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam assured that security measures will be in tip-top shape for the summit, reported Channel NewsAsia. After all, 5,000 officers from the Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Civil Defence Force are on standby.

Road closures went into effect when Kim’s motorcade traveled from Changi Airport to St. Regis, where the North Korean delegation is staying. Alongside his convoy, 17 police motorcycles, three police vans, three police cars, and a Singapore Civil Defence Force fire and medical response vehicle were deployed as escorts, TODAY counted. The same road closures will go into effect and the same local escorts will be deployed during the arrival of President Trump tonight, who’ll travel from Paya Lebar Airbase to Shangri-La Hotel, where the US delegation is expected to lodge in.

The summit itself will be at Capella Hotel next Tuesday. The luxurious five-star beachside hotel in Sentosa will be shut off to the public for about a month for the summit.

Then there’s the International Media Centre itself at the F1 Pit Building in Marina Bay, where over 3,000 journalists around the world are based to cover the summit. From the description by The Straits Times, barricades, air-conditioning units and other necessary fixtures such as televisions, tables, seats, and a canteen have been set up.

It’s a steep cost for sure, but PM Lee is not concerned about the cost, considering that the summit is an opportunity to the world “what Singapore can do”.

“When the two sides asked us to host the meeting, we couldn’t say no. We have to step up and we can. We are capable of doing it, we have put some resources into it, but we can do a good job,” he said.

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