The SGD$20 Million is Money Well Spent on the US-North Korea Summit

Image: Alya_Lav /


By now, we should know that protecting world leaders doesn’t come cheap: the G7 Summit in Canada last week (the meeting President Donald Trump attended before making his way to Singapore) allegedly cost about SGD$622 million, with about SGD$407 million spent on security for the world leaders.

Unlike the summit in Singapore, the summit in Canada has leaders from seven countries, namely from Canada, the United States, France, Germany, the U.K., Italy and Japan.

Despite the price tag, that is imperative since we live in a world full of threats.

Laymen like us might not understand this, but the fact is that high-profile people usually have security details to ensure their safety, even if it’s not a politician.

Take, for example, Mark Zuckerberg: according to a CNBC report, Facebook spent almost SGD$9.5 million to protect him in 2017. In the same report, it’s mentioned that Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos had a SGD$2.08 million price tag for his security in 2016, and even Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has spent (or to be specific, Apple spent that amount) SGD$291K for his security in a year.

Simply put, these CEO’s daily protection cost could well be more than how much we earn per year.

But putting that aside, now you should understand why security is necessary, although the only security we have is just the security guards in our office whom we lepak with during lunch break.

Cost of Trump-Kim Summit: About SGD$20 million

So it doesn’t come as a surprise that the cost of the Trump-Kim summit is at SGD$20 million, which makes you wonder why people are talking about the bills of the hotel stay when the cost to organize it is way higher.


Almost half of it goes to security, which is understandable. Just look at this.

But of course, there are more intangible costs involved: the inconveniences caused by the road closures and the heightened security measures.

Is it money well spent? I would say a resounding yes, although we might not see the immediate effects. Here are why.

It’s all about the long-term benefits

Forking out SGD$20 million immediately causes pain immediately, especially when this summit is being announced in such a short period. It’s normal for Singaporeans to complain – after all, we didn’t get any immediate benefit, except a certain excitement that as you read this now, two world leaders whom you’ll have never expected to even talk to each other on the phone have come together for a face-to-face meeting.

Of course, we all know the true benefits: this could be the prelude to world peace, and a complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

But once again, Singaporeans might not feel the effects. After all, we’re so used to peace, we forget that North and South Korea are technically still at war.

Our kids will get the benefits

Closer to home, what do we get?


Here’s a scenario that might happen in the near future: someone has created an app called InstaBook (ha, I’m creative with names, right?). It’s so popular, it has garnered well over 2 billion users in the entire world.

The CEO is looking to have an office in Asia, and guess where he’s going to locate it in? Singapore. He remembers the Trump-Kim summit because it’s in every History textbook. He’s thinking that if Singapore is good enough to hold a Trump-Kim summit, it’s good enough to hold the InstaBook APAC HQ.

So, the office is built in our soil, and they need 2,000 employees. Where do they have to get the workers from? Singapore.

Your kid just graduated and see that InstaBook needs people. He applied and got the job.

While Singapore earns from the taxes of InstaBook, jobs have been created – because of the Trump-Kim summit.

That SGD$20 million, in retrospect, was well-spent.

This isn’t just a make-believe scenario. It’s real

Do you know that currently, Facebook has a large office in Marina One, and Google has one in Mapletree Business City in Pasir Panjang, setting it as its APAC HQ with 1,000 staff? There are more; I’m just listing down companies that you’re familiar with.


Without good branding, no MNC would set up offices in the region.

With that in mind, Singapore is already branded as a great place; the Trump-Kim summit would definitely amplify that.

But there are short-terms benefits, too

Do you know that over 2,500 journalists would be in Singapore to cover the event? That doesn’t include the tourists who would be coming over just to be on the same country as Donald Trump or Kim Jong-Un.

To put it in layman’s terms, these people would bring their money over and spend them in Singapore. What does that mean? Money flowing in Singapore. You can’t really see that, but they do come in, no matter how much it is. Remember, tourism itself already contributes to 4% of the Singapore GDP.

Adding on to that…the event is in Sentosa. We all know how expensive a can of drink there is, don’t we?

But of course, it’s not about the money. It’s about the world

Eventually, while I’m not trying to sound politically correct, the take-away from this summit is a meeting that might contribute significantly to world peace in the near future.

That, my friend, is beyond the dollars and cents.

You can earn the money back, but you can’t earn world peace with money.


Do come back to the Goody Feed app tomorrow for more commentary!


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