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IMF/WB meeting exposes Singapore's undemocratic practice

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IMF/WB meeting exposes Singapore's undemocratic practice

Postby renter » Mon, 11 Sep 2006 9:38 am

World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz has criticised Singapore for banning accredited activists from its annual general meeting in the country.

Singapore authorities have blocked the 19 civil society representatives from attending the event amid claims that they pose a security risk.

Mr Wolfowitz told BBC World he hoped Singapore would reconsider its stance.

On the agenda for next week's meeting are plans to tackle corruption and reform of the bank's voting structure.

In an interview with BBC World Business Report, Mr Wolfowitz said Singapore had made a "bad" decision when it blocked activists that had been invited to the event.

"I hope Singapore's authorities will change their minds and allow the people in that we have accredited as originally agreed," he added.

He added that was important for the organisation to hold a "strong dialogue" with such groups.

"We may not always agree with what they have to say, but it is very important to have that discussion," Mr Wolfowitz said.

Protest ban

The comments followed Singapore's refusal to lift a ban on public protests.

Following the ban, pressure groups and non-governmental organisations decided they would demonstrate on Batam Island instead - an Indonesian island located close to Singapore by boat.

But now Indonesian police have decided to ban international NGOs from protesting there as well, saying the demonstrations could become violent and act as a deterrent to tourists.

The local organisers of protests - the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) - have said they will continue their Indonesia-based protests regardless, despite receiving a letter from the police asking them not to.

During the next week's talks the Bank and member nations plan to push on with developing new plans to help poor countries tackle corruption, as part of a wider initiative to address corruption and improve governance.

Mr Wolfowitz has argued that fighting corruption is a key step for developing countries to perform well economically.

Controversial plans

However, some countries are worried that tackling corruption may slow down the speed at which aid is delivered.

There had been fears that some World Bank schemes might be cut off suddenly at Mr Wolfowitz's behest however he now seems to have assuaged many concerns.

One World Bank official said Mr Wolfowitz had "come far since the beginning of the year, when he went forward on his own and got into a big fight with the board".

At a World Bank meeting in April Mr Wolfowitz stressed his concerns about corruption, saying that the bank would reinforce its governance and anti-corruption measures on all bank projects including loans, grants, research and technical assistance.

The bank recently announced an amnesty to those who had committed corruption in the past by defrauding the bank, if they admit their wrongdoing and declared a commitment to rules in future.

In announcing the Voluntary Disclosure Program in August Mr Wolfowitz said it would "prevent and deter corruption".

Other issues to be discussed at the World Bank and IMF's annual meeting in Singapore will include the structure of both organisations, voting reform and the role played by developing nations

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5326692.stm

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 11 Sep 2006 9:28 pm

Renter,

I think that Singapore is shooting itself in the foot. Their inflexibility will preclude the IMF/World Bank from ever considering Singapore again in all probability. In addition, any other large convention will now think twice due to the inflexibility here. I hope they make enough money off this one because I think it will be a cold day in hell before they get the chance again.

To borrow "Barczar's" Signature, "If you want to play with the big dogs, you can't pee like a puppy!" Which is exactly what paranoid Singapore is doing at the moment IMHO. The government here is scared shitless something is going to ruin their smooth running machinery. So, instead of letting the machinery run they are going to damn near shut down all the machinery so they can act like puppies. They are pulling down the shutters on all of downtown diverting traffic which is a snarly mess in the best of time. For why? Do they really think that they could actually stop something? With all the resourses at the disposal of the UK and US it didn't stop them or even slow them up.

Oh yeah, why just cut and paste? Anybody can do that. Don't you have an opinions or thoughts of your own? Or are you a puppy as well. This is a discussion forum not a newspaper. How to have a discussion if you don't say anything? :wink:

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Postby Bafana » Tue, 12 Sep 2006 5:39 pm

How to be an acredited activist - Does this also mean there is a union for despots or a league for anarchists. The whole issue just goes to show one NGO sticking up for another. Activism is big business these days and nothing more.

Go ahead and ban them - There is enough noise pollution in Singapore without the assistance of a bunch of paid freeloading trouble makers.
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Postby riversandlakes » Thu, 14 Sep 2006 11:07 am

Undemocratic? According to whom? Whose standards? Surely not the World Police's?

I don't want to live in the riots I saw in HK. I didn't pay taxes to go through that. I trust the SG Gov to ban as they see fit.
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Postby ksl » Thu, 14 Sep 2006 11:04 pm

Well it does appear that SMS was on the right track! Singapore is now under pressure to correct their mistake http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060914/wl_ ... vists_dc_1

I think the lack of experience in holding high risk meetings, is a general worry, for those, that have never had the practical experience at this level before, the higher ranks, are considering their careers first, rather than the security matters at hand.

This kind of task one sees in many employment situations, whereby the inexperienced would rather walk away from the task, than use their brain power, to solve a problem.

"27 Activists have been cleared by their own countries to attend the meeting" diplomatically Singapore needs to bend over backwards to prove they are capable of handling this situation, in a calm and collective manner.

I can imagine the president has already briefed those accountable to get a grip! and give results, not find excuses not to let these people in, if they have been cleared by the IMF to attend!

Is the actual security in place is anyone guess! But good look to the rank and file, its normally those that get the stick anyway, i hope everything goes off without any trouble!

But I also hope that all individuals are prepared for the worst! those that are not on their toes, will suffer.

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Postby riversandlakes » Fri, 15 Sep 2006 9:43 am

Singapore has always been practical in many matters. Looks like in this too.

It's easy to ban them all for "total defense", but it won't make things rosy with folks who believe in "total freedom".

Interesting to see how this folds out. Perhaps the anarchists will reconsider rioting - failing that will be a slap on their "sponsors" - the EU, WB, IMF, etc.
Goatboy will always cherish his former goatgirl.

But the world is full of fluffier ones.

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Postby acez2 » Thu, 12 Oct 2006 11:34 pm

Yes, Singapore Gov is really over reacting to such activist organisation.
Singapore never hold such big event before beside WTO.

See how the Police were deployed for Dr Chee's march from Hong Lim Park to Parliament house.

Watch this video how our gov so over react in opposition rakky in May 2006.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx0AnCKjKX0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4ImVuqcUHM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xADhHDG6kZ0

All those fence up and crowd control, it seems like the gov treating all Singaporean like animals. :evil:

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Postby Kurozu » Fri, 02 Mar 2007 11:51 am

I am not sure if I should voice my opinion on this topic since you will never know what Sing govt can do to you if you protest too much.
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."

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Postby katatonic » Tue, 08 May 2007 9:38 am

Fascist america in 10 steps

1. invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

2. create a prison system outside the rule of law

3. maintain a body of spies/thugs/mercenaries to terrify the population

4. set up an internal surveillance system

5. harass citizen’s groups

6. engage in arbitrary detention and release

7. target key individuals, threatening civil servants, artists and academics with job loss if they don’t toe the line

8. control the press

9. dissent equals treason

10. suspend the rule of law

I think singapore passed with flying colors.

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Postby Way_Fast_Whitey » Mon, 11 Jun 2007 5:38 pm

You picked a perfect nick "katatonic" try a little more tin-foil in your hat. :shock:


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