Bjorn Borg Event: Organisers Failed To Pay

The Sweden-based producer, Show Administration Europe AB, said it
decided not to send the players to the event because the local
organisers had allegedly failed to pay the promised funds.
   It was reported that state Tourism Development, Culture, Arts and
Heritage Committee chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang had said the state had
waived the RM2 million bank guarantee needed for the organisers to set
up the structures at the Esplanade Heritage Site.
   The Penang public accounts committee (PAC) will hold an inquiry to investigate the cancellation of the “Kings of Tennis” event.Penang PAC chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the inquiry, to be held in the state for the first time, would focus on the financial implications of the cancellation for the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP).
   The Datuk Keramat assemblyman said the committee viewed the issue seriously and hoped to ascertain how and why the “Penang Big Bang” event was called off at the 11th hour.
   Jagdeep said they had identified three witnesses.
   “Our concern is the financial implication of the cancellation for the council, as the authority in charge of Padang Kota Lama.
   “We are also concerned about the fate of the historical site.
   “We do not want taxpayers’ money to be used for the repair works,” he said at the state legislative assembly building yesterday.
   The council has just completed patching work costing about RM800,000.
   The PAC is also investigating the accountability of the procedural system.
   Jagdeep said a report on the findings would be made public after it had been submitted to the state legislative assembly.
   “We will recommend action against those responsible.”
   The closed-door inquiry is scheduled to take place at 3pm next Friday.
   The three-day event which was supposed to start last Friday was scrapped by the organiser the day before the event.
   The grass on the Esplanade field had already been dug up and the surface tarred before the tennis court structure was laid.
   The tournament was to have featured tennis greats Pete Sampras, Mats Wilander, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.
   It was also reported that the RM200,000 rental for the Esplanade field was not paid to the council.
   Local tournament organising chairman Arianna Teoh, in a statement yesterday, refuted Show Administration’s allegation that they had decided to cancel the show following her failure to remit certain funds to them.
   Teoh said the company hired her as the event vice-president and she had agreed to organise and manage the event in Malaysia.
   Teoh, a former Miss Malaysia, said the company was supposed to set up a Malaysian company named Kings of Tennis Malaysia.
   Teoh claimed that Show Administration had failed to do so and instead set up another company to remit the funds but it was too late.

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