SINGAPORE: Many people wondered if Singapore-based Malaysian tycoon Ong Being Seng would show up at this year’s Formula One Singapore Airlines Grand Prix since he is under investigation by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).
But the 79-year-old Mr Ong turned up for the event he is largely responsible for, and photos of him at the event have been published on several news sites.
On Saturday, The Straits Times posted a photo of a smiling Mr Ong on its Facebook page.
Singapore Grand Prix also featured photos of Mr Ong beside Chrome Hearts Jewellery Designer Moko. The designer is seen in pictures with his arm around the billionaire businessman.
The tycoon also mingled with guests in the paddock on Sept 16, TODAY reported.
While Mr Ong built his name and fortune as a hotelier, he is best known for bringing F1 to the country, launching the Singapore Grand Prix in 2008.
A friend of F1 boss Bernie Eccleston, Mr Ong helped seal the deal in 2007 that brought the race to Singapore.
Moreover, he is the sole shareholder of the event, the first Formula 1 street race in Asia and the first race to be held at night in F1’s history.
However, in July this year, the billionaire businessman was given a notice of arrest linked to an investigation involving Transport Minister S Iswaran.
Mr Iswaran is the subject of an investigation by the CPIB and was asked by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Jul 12 to take a leave of absence while the probe is ongoing.
The case involving the Transport Minister had been termed by the international press as the ‘Most Serious Graft Probe’ in 34 years.
On July 14, Mr Ong was asked by the CPIB to provide information on a corruption probe involving M Iswaran.
Mr Ong’s company, Hotel Properties Limited (HPL), said in a statement that day that he was issued a notice of arrest and had posted bail of S$100,000.
HPL said Mr Ong was “cooperating fully with CPIB and has provided the information requested”.
“As this is an ongoing matter, he is unable to provide further details at this point,” added HPL.
Hotel Properties owns Four Seasons, Forum The Shopping Mall, and Concorde Shopping Mall in Singapore, among other properties globally. Mr Ong co-founded the company in 1980. /TISG