DIANA JABLONSKI WRITES – For the past 19 years, Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit has hosted the annual Formula One Grand Prix race. This particular race hs consistently attracted one of the largest crowds that Malaysia has ever seen. The race debuted in Malaysia in 1999, and has been part of the nation’s recent history ever since.
Prime Minister Najib Razqk commented: “We have hosted this for 19 years and I think we have seen some thrilling events.” Even so, the Malaysian government officially announced that it will no longer host the F1 Grand Prix planned for next April, due to economic issues. Razqk explained: “[The F1 Grand Prix] has been diminishing returns for [Malaysia] and because of that, the economic viability of it became less attractive,” and “we decided to review and terminate (the contract) but that doesn’t mean we can’t reconsider it at some point in time in the future, provided economic returns are favorable to us.”
The F1 Grand Prix does bring substantial income to Malaysia from the race through shopping, charities, concerts and other tourist events. Also, fans look forward to the Prix to get the chance to meet and see the famous racers they idolize and admire. The many fervid fans of this race have responded to the news by stating that they are hoping the Malaysian government will rethink its decision and allow Malaysia to participate in the next event.
The prime minister is facing some peculiar personal financial issues of his own. One damaging accusation against Mr Najib relates to the ailing 1MDB state investment fund. His government set up the fund (1Malaysia Development Berhad) in 2009 with the aim of transforming the country into a high-income economy. But the fund racked up a huge debt, and Mr Najib has been accused of transferring nearly $700m (£450m) from the fund to his personal bank accounts.
Perhaps we should call that Formula 2.