Big Bang tennis event ends with whimper


The ‘Kings of Tennis’ tournament in Penang this weekend has been cancelled.

How much will it cost to clear the mess in the Esplanade, including all that concrete? A couple of million ringgit? Did the state government collect a deposit from the organisers? If yes, great. If not, why not?

It’s a major ‘Big Bang’ for Penang, unfortunately….

The objective of ‘Kings of Tennis’ was “to create the first, biggest and best team event for the world number ones in tennis.”

But the local organisers apparently failed to come up with payment or a bank guarantee for the event producers. A Big Bang embarrassment.

“We express our sincere apologies to the public and all those parties concerned but we simply could not provide the players without the payment of promised funds that did not materialise despite a number of ultimatums given to the local promoter/organiser by our organisation,” said the event producers in a press release by Ming, KH & Associates Sdn Bhd on behalf of the overseas-based producers of ‘Kings of Tennis’.

The warning bells should have sounded when the organisers complained a few days ago of “lack of support” from the state government. But did the state government actually endorse the event by allowing the organisers to use a URL as in

Why did the organisers build all the infrastructure without sorting out the financing first?

Speaking of the Esplanade, whose bright idea was it to build that low wall surrounding the sprawling field, which is supposed to be a public area? What purpose does it serve?

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I noticed that this international event was brought to shore on 10th August and was turned down and later conditionally approved in October. My goodness this international event was scheduled to hold on 14th to 16th November and how could such a big bang tennis tournament be orginised within such a short period. Are we being made a fool? If it were to make to attract sport fans from all over the world to come joining this fiesta, do you think a month’s preparation work is enough? I wish I have a chance to ask those organisers how long it… Read more »


To all the critics of the new state govt. putting the blame for this botched event on LGE & Co. Come on , give them a break. okay? so we know they re new in state admin matters. BUT we can see that there is CAT in his admin. This is a good enough start for a better tomorrow for penangites. dont just take this chance to slam the new govt. who are only 8 mths old.. well, they ve learned their lesson to not believe anyone no matter how beautiful or convincing he or she is. they are only… Read more »

tan, tanjong bungah

Hi everyone,

Let us wait for the report from the Penang PAC after it has conducted a full inquiry into this ‘Big Bang fiasco’.

Penangites and other Malaysians expect a full disclosure on how the fiasco arose. If there is any negligence, ‘foul’ play, etc, those responsible should be exposed and action taken against them.

People would then reaffirm their confidence in the CAT policy if the aforesaid action is taken.


To looes74…the event choronology was reported in Chinese newspapers. I found out many irregulaties such as a DAP executive ordered MPPP to go ahead with the event without any agreement signed with the event promoter. My question what the heck this executive overuled MPPP to waive deposit requirement. I hope ACA can investigate any abuse of power and charge the executive in the court accordingly. Second, no deposit secured from the promoter. Penang taxpayers’ may have to bear for grassfield repair cost in case the company refuses to accept legal liability under these circumstances. 1. No legal documennt signed… Read more »


Since someone highlighted on Roadsigns. Please Don’t make a blunder on Roadsigns. Road signs should be only in Bahasa Malaysia as national language & English as international. Spend more time & money on improving road condition, safety, traffic flow etc. YB LGE should be firm not to accept all the rubbish idea & make a mess of Penang. I don’t see racial integration is on the signboard, It should be cultivated in person. If a Malaysia cannot Read either BM or English than something seriously wrong in building Bangsa Malaysian. Todays DCM DR Ramasamy news in STAR highlighted on civil… Read more »


Well guys, It’s good if LGE government can specifically list down the choronology of this issue without fail. But then again, it’s a tennis tournament. If Singapore GLC can lose one big hard disk company, Micropolis in the past (and still survive). What’s this? I am not saying that we should run away from this. Treat it as a lesson lor. I am more worried if something cock up and the state government got to foot the bill. That’s big problemo. Else, it’s just a tennis tournament. In Singapore, Sand might have problemo in kickstarting the IR in Singapore. If… Read more »


Lim Guan Eng and his gang are trying too hard to show that they are “boleh” without consider all calculated risks before approve any grand project.

This blunder showing us that DAP is a party who can talk a lot, but cannot work or deliver.


The first series of blunder by the state chief who is still living and dreaming in the clouds. First the road signs, second touring Korea, third tennis for sale, and surely many more. None of these benefit the people whose taxes helped CM foot the bills. LGE’s head is now spinning wildly like helicopter blades. Nothing works as far as he is concerned. Take the road signs for example. His obsession with multicomplicated signages would land him in the court unnecessarily. Again at the expense of tax payer money. He failed to understand that Penang is manufacturing hub and not… Read more »


dear anil,
why waste it, invite Wimbledom to be be held at the Esplanade, then the ATP, Australian open, French open, Dubai Open,…. Lateral thinking la.


All this needs to be seen in proper perspective. The event is very good for Penang, you cannot deny that. There is also no oonspiracy involved or sabotage. The padang is not spoilt ok, it was never that nice and it can easily be restored. Remember a couple of years ago when the padang was trampled to death after a NYE event? No one complained because everyone had fun. There was so much gravel all over the padang ok. The council cannot be blamed as this event would highlight Penang. The council did put a fee to the use and… Read more »


How good and big an idea doesn’t matter, can it be implemented smoothly matters most. The success of such event needs blessing from many parts. There is always room for sabotage and only god knows who is the culprit. We will never know the actual cause of failure and if you think it is because of the bank guarantee you are taking the matter so simple. Sorry these days I have not gone to Esplanade to see the venue but it will be pity to see the kings of tennis playing in this kind of don’t know what to call… Read more »


one more thing… anyone remember the 1997 World Film Festival – great festival but wasn’t there a problem with payment.. or was that just a Penang rumour… what happened about the Penang Mozart festival and the grand pris….. big ieas


funny, I go to the esplanade regularly last time there were also barriers, but the bikes still got in. only a few mah… but what about people with disabilities, over 4 years ago the MPPP was shown a presentation – how impossible it was for people with disabilities to get into the public space. we have a great toilet for people with disabilities right in the middle of the space, but no way to get there!!!!! when the new work started we thought great at last it will be barrier free… the motorbikes can get fined… but nooooo more barriers… Read more »


Talking about public property, I think we public can sacrifice
few months of not gettng to use that area but on the other hand it should generates reasonable RM & publicity & bring tourrist to Penang.


Well it’s a test on YB LGE’s CAT practice Government.
Come up with explanation with all the names, companies, amount(RM)involve. Chronology ow it came about for this wonderful idea.
Possible that freshie state governrment overlook things, it’s ok but Let we people know where it went wrong, what is the RM loss if any, what is the next cause of action being taken on the people responsible.

YB We are waiting.


This was a good publicity event for Penang. It was very unfortunate for it to turned out this way. The state govt has done no wrong in endorsing this event. It is purely a financial problem that is beyond anyone’s control.

James Lee

This is a good lesson for LGE, Jeff Ooi and co. They have become insufferably smug and arrogant in the last few months going around like they are the best things since nasi lemak. Their endorsement of this event and various waivers given to the event organizer show that they failed to undertake adequate due diligence before lending the state government imprimatur to this sham of an event. Now, of course, they are trying to distance themselves from this debacle when only a few days ago Jeff Ooi put up a triumphalist posting on his blog beating his chest (“I… Read more »

Justin Choo

Oh! Mother of all Horrors !!!

I live in Penang and only two days ago I passed by Esplanade and was blind not to notice that the Esplanade field had been bombed and filled up with cement to build tents for the refugees!!!!!

From what I know the term “Tennis” comes from the root word “tents”. So playing tennis means playing around the tents. But in this case not even a tent can be seen!

They must be JOKING!!

The Mother Of All HORRORS!!

What have Penang become? Senile???

AIYOOOOOOOOOOOH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For the real tents, please visit my blog.

Michael Sun

Looks like the former Miss Malaysia have to cough out money for the “mother of all blunders”. Looks like MPPP has to carry the s***. If the organisers cannot even come out with the deposit, where do they get the money to reinstate the Esplanade grounds.

I can’t imagine the financial feasibility of organising some a giant event.

I suppose she a beauty queen.

BTW is the husband also a failed F1 driver? If so, it runs in the family.


The Big Bang of tennis It was gone just like that Hustling about money The Esplanade is left crying No airing to the world Of the true historical ground Wooing tourists to come Now only the emptiness And losses to count Why it gone wrong? In the last hurdle to boot A sad disgrace in our lives When event of this statue It turned humpty dumpty Falling out on his chair The headaches now become The organizers too Now the Esplanade Abandoned misused The crying of the sea The waves lashing on the shore Staring at the empty ground The… Read more »


The Penang State Govt must take this as a lesson not to trust any people who go to them with what look like good idea. You job is to govt. Dont look for publicity.

And another thing, don’t be fooled by the free Wifi proposition.

You must look into the gift horse’s mouth.


according to the press release dated 11th Nov, “Consequently, the event has been cancelled as we notified the local promoter/organiser last week” and yet, the organisers went to the press on sat and insisted, “Speculations about the event being cancelled are untrue. Those who doubt should drop by the Esplanade to see the structures already up” i am truly disgusted with the organisers. to think that she already knew of the cancellation, and still proceeded to build the huge structure. i can only speculate her reason for continuing with her charade. and tru$t me, none of them are naive… Read more »


So much on the Kings of Tennis event.Please remember that the organisers are bringing tourism to our very own state. Everyone is just as sad. Kings of Tennis is a good thing in Penang!

Reasonable Voter

Again, ask the PHT to comment on this?

Sam G

Lucia, Esplanade field is definitely public property. On the issue of permission from MPPP, that is only for those who wish to use the whole field for functions and sports carnivals.