Rodziah Ismail Ticker's Blog

No Budget for Penan women safety, but RM1 billion to keep our team in F1 races

Posted in Child Protection, Malaysian Politics, Penan, Politics by rodziahismailticker on September 17, 2009

Penan women and children risked being raped daily…but Sarawak Police says they have no budget to support operations to protect Penan people…



By Minderjeet

KUALA LUMPUR: 1Malaysia F1 Team Sdn Bhd may need at least RM1 billion a year to keep its Lotus F1 team in the Formula One races beginning next year.

Those behind the Lotus F1 team didn’t want to commit themselves into revealing the annual budget needed, but Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said it would come from local entrepreneurs, private companies and government-linked companies.

Kamarudin, who is the deputy group chief executive officer of AirAsia, said the bulk of the budget will go to “persistent engineering, engaging professionals to design the F1 engine and for testing”.

AirAsia is one of the backers of the team. Others include Sepang International Circuit, Naza Motors, the Malaysian Motorsports Association and Malaysian Automobile Association.

The government participation is through Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Bhd (Proton).

The Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA), the governing body for world motor sport and the federation of the world’s leading motoring organisations, announced on Tuesday, the return of the Lotus name as a constructor to Formula One for the first time since 1994.

Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes was named as team principal while the team’s technical Director is Mike Gascoyne, who has more than 20 years of experience in Formula One, having previously performed the same role for the Force India, Toyota, Renault and Jordan Formula One teams.

Kamarudin said having a team in Formula One was the country’s achievement.

“In sports, when is the right time? A country bids for Sea Games, Commonwealth or Olympics even during economy slowdown.”

He said it was not about the timing but grabbing the opportunity to be the 13th team for the 2010 championship.

“We got a slot and it will be a waste to miss it.

“We have our own circuit, car and technology.

“It will be a shame if we do not make use of the facilities we have.”

Malaysia, he added, had facilities to learn car engineering and the technology transfer from world renowned experts would help locals to design, manufacture and run a F1 team.

According to the FIA statement, the team will initially be based at the RTN facility in Norfolk, UK, about 16km from the Lotus Cars factory.

A 50,000 sq ft fully equipped facility, RTN was built by Toyota for its initial Formula One programme and then used by Bentley for its successful Le Mans programme.

The team’s future design, R&D, manufacturing and technical centre will be purpose built at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit.

As part of its application to compete in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship, the team has ag-reed to an engine supply deal with Cosworth and a wide variety of technical partnerships, including Xtrac and FondTech.


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