Saturday April 28th, 2001
Malaysian Finance Minister Diam Zainuddin has defended his country's Formula One Grand Prix against opposition claims that the events cost the country some RM210 million ($62 million) in its first two years.
In a written reply to Parliament, Diam stated that the actual accumulated loss for the 1999 and 2000 events was just under RM26 million ($6.8 million). He gave no figures the 2001 race, which was the second round of this year's championship.
Diam claimed that a study carried out by the Universiti of Malaya showed that Malaysia had earned more than RM500 million through hosting the 1999 event.
"This revenue is from the expenditure of spectators, especially foreigners who had come to see the race and also took the opportunity to holiday at the various tourist destinations," the Finance Minister said. He also stated that the massive TV coverage around the world had provided Malaysia with many long-term positive effects.