Sunday, August 10, 2008

Feng shui masters turn 'wheel of fortune' in Singapore's favour

SINGAPORE, Aug 9, 2008 (AFP) - Officials in Singapore have changed the direction of the world's biggest observation wheel because feng shui masters said it was taking good fortune away from the city, a report said Saturday.

The Singapore Flyer, which opened earlier this year, had originally revolved so that it rose to face the business district and went down overlooking the sea, the Strait Times newspaper said.

However, masters of the ancient Chinese art of geomancy convinced the wheel's management to reverse it so that it was not taking fortune away from the city.

"A number of feng shui masters had approached us to tell us that the Flyer is on the perfect site to pick up the good qi (energy) flowing into Singapore, but it was going in the wrong direction," said Florian Bollen, the Singapore Flyer's chairman.

"The Flyer was going against the sun and taking fortune away from Singapore."

Bollen likened the change to the "completion of a perfect movie" to give a better story, but added that it cost the company a "six figure sum," the report said.

For visitors now riding one of the wheel's 28 air-conditioned capsules, their view starts with beaches and housing estates in the east and culminates with a vista of the business centre.

At 165 metres (545 feet), or 42 storeys, the Singapore Flyer is 30 metres higher than Britain's London Eye, said builders Great Wheel Corp.

Despite being a modern city Singapore is a largely ethnic Chinese nation, where traditions still hold sway.

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