Singapore spends $400,000 to rename Marina Bay... Marina Bay

  Agence France Presse
July 22, 2005

AFTER spending S$400,000 (US$240,964) to come up with a suitable new name for the revamped downtown Marina Bay, Singapore has decided to stick to, well, Marina Bay, media reports said Friday, July 22.

The city-state's urban development authorities and global branding company Interbrand spent months deliberating over 400 potential names before settling on the original moniker, according to the Today newspaper.

The $400,000 financed a massive branding exercise that involved market tests, focus group discussions and consultations with developers and the general public, Today said.

Finding the right name for the city-state's revised downtown, which will include the much-debated resort casino, a new business district and swanky retail outlets, was a process akin to parents deciding on a name for their child, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan.

"We started off with (the name) Marina Bay and after looking at everything, the name that really tugged at the heartstrings was in front of us," Mah said. "The name itself is not new, but what has been used informally so far has endeared itself to all parties."

Not suprisingly, many Singaporeans were quick to lambast the government's latest publicity efforts as an utter waste of public funds.

"Waaah, you so clever... (you) think and think and think and come up (with) this new old name," Rockson Takumi Tan wrote on his popular blog,