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IMF and World Bank Rebuke Singapore

Posted by inspir3d on September 9, 2006

High impact2“The International Monetary Fund and World Bank on Friday issued an unprecedented rebuke to Singapore over a ban on accredited activists invited to attend the annual meetings of the two financial institutions next week.

The IMF/World Bank suggested that Singapore had violated the terms of its agreement to host the event by blocking the entry of 19 civil society representatives, who allegedly posed a security threat.” Full Story (Financial Times) Original story at FT is now for subscribers only.

Official Announcement:

“Joint Statement from World Bank and IMF on CSO Participation in the Annual Meetings in Singapore” International Monetary Fund, “In the interest of good governance, transparency and accountability, we urge the Government of Singapore to allow all properly accredited civil society representatives to attend our meetings. We have consistently opposed any restrictions on full participation and peaceful expression of views. Open dialogue with civil society is also important for the effective operation of our institutions.”

Related News:

“World Bank, IMF urge Singapore not to bar accredited activists from annual meetings” (International Herald Tribune)”The World Bank and International Monetary Fund on Friday urged Singapore to allow all activists invited by the finance institutions to attend this month’s meetings in the city-state.”

“NGO Ban will Embarrass Singapore” (Bangkok Post)

“Singapore’s Barring of Some Activists Prompts a Protest” (New York Times)

“Singapore under fire as World Bank-IMF Protest” (AFP) “”While we understand and agree that security at the meetings is of paramount importance, Singapore’s authorities have not shared any information that would make us … consider these individuals as potential threats”

“Singapore Rapped over Protest Ban” (BBC News) “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.”

“Singapore Tightens the Cordon on Protest” (International Herald Tribune)  “It’s completely astonishing”


16 Responses to “IMF and World Bank Rebuke Singapore”

  1. I think the meeting has, from an event that will benefit Singapore, morphed to one that is a liability to the government. If the government persists its stand, then Singapore will suffer a bad name, not only because it bans protests, but also because it breaches the MOU. If the government relents, it will have to handle the sticky question of why foreigner are allowed to protest when Singaporeans are not.

  2. KiWeTO said

    to paraphrase the SPF’s statement on the use of violent force to prevent protests

    “We will shoot to kill”.


    [too busy worrying about Maslow’s stage 1 needs to think of standing around waving placards this coming IMF visit. Especially since we lack the international understanding to protest global issues.]

  3. at82 said

    So this is the World Class customer service PM Lee is talking about?

    If they continue to be like tat how many smiles also not enough man…

  4. kevin said

    this clearly shows what kind of state we are, the type that has hampered our own growth.

    I’m frankly very ashamed of how this IMF thing has been going on.

  5. It will be ok.

    Singapore will publish a long set of KPIs that we have consistently met so far:

    For example, number of potted plants along Orchard Road. Coats of paint on the expressways. Number of smiles collected …

    Or we can also discredit IMF/WB for having played us out because this was the hidden agreement both parties wanted all along.

  6. seijiega said

    this is how we shoot ourself in the face.Welcome to the Paris of the East.I bet the whole world could be laughing at us now…

  7. guardian of the book of ages said

    These IMF bureaucrats all need to pander to somebody. Remember everyone works for someone.

  8. pumpman said

    We all know those protesters for every IMF meet are indeed a very organized bunch of professional demonstrators. They even have an union and a charter of rights. Before every IMF meet they even have formal meetings believe it or not with the police to inform them of the where, when and how’s.

    It’s a bit like the PLO, you notice they only throw stones when the cameras are turned on them.

    That is why they are so lucky everyone of them gets to join a rock group.

    I didnt know organized crime could get that profitable.

  9. If they are so wayang, maybe our Mr Wong should also call them up for a meeting lah …

    Then, we can have a world-class wayang to entertain everyone without any casualties nor damage to them or Singapore.

    Wong gets to try out his fancy anti-terrorist toys and these PLO types can entertain us with their fake injuries and deaths.

    Our world-class reputation remains intact and IMF is happy.

    Don’t u think this is a win-win for all?

  10. Harphoon said

    lol. That’s a brilliant idea uncle whispers.

  11. Harv said

    It’s disgraceful that merely by using the “S”-word – Security – the police appear to absolve themselves from any need to give a proper, cogent basis for the decision to bar the 20-or-so activists.

    It shows how much respect the authorities in Singapore have for the public, to the extent that the need to give proper reasoned justification for this surprising action appears not to exist.

    After all, the World Bank and the IMF don’t appear to have a problem with the barred individuals.

    What an abject showcase for the country! Waste of money, I’d say, to have the country’s image take a beating because of what’s essentially a short-sighted decision, made without proper justification and against what the majority of the free world thinks is proper.

  12. tootee said

    beside taking singaporean as kids, we can see the sg gov treats others like kids too.. nananana the gov is always right

  13. Ranger said

    Anyone notice that these “articles” on the IMF usually have a single source? Though I am not exactly happy at how this event is turning, I highly suspect that the so called world opinion is being expounded by just a few individuals who (for a better phrase) have the “Loudest Mouths”. For me I’d rather have my neat and clean ‘nanny state’ anyday.

  14. storywolf said

    Why people like to support activities so much ? I mean why must there be protests which the last 2 IMF meeting protest turn into violent.

    IMF meeting – yep they want people to provide them with a safe and comfortable place to get their meeting done. Did they spare a thought for Singaporean ? After the meeting, they wipe their backside and all fly off …. gone. If there is protest that turn violent, will the IMF president, his staff stay behind to clean up the mess ? Will they be personally apologising or writing cheques to those singaporean people or business that have cars burn and window smashed.

    So is that what is the so call freedom – freedom to riot and destory properties, freedom of IMF after that to wipe their asses and walk away for people in Singapore who have to stay and clean the mess and damages !!!

    So tell me what so great about freedom when it is a double edge sword ?

  15. John said

    to me, it’s all a song and dance between the Singapore govt and IMF/WB albeit Singapore has to bear the brunt of the international outcry – maybe it’s part of the deal. Ever wondered how the Singapore govt gets the names and background info of these 27 ppl? Don’t tell me they’ve been doing intelligence on them for the past 20 years… someone or some organisation must have supplied Singapore with the data and it’s prolly the IMF who did.
    They only raised a strong rebuke midway through the conference and Singapore synchronises in responses and relents – IMF walks out the respected gentlemen, Singapore the forgiven sinner, and the 27 poor guys come back only to realise they missed the best part of banquet. It’s all part of the show.

  16. Harphoon said

    This is rather sad. It was a show case opportunity to shed the seige mentality which Singapore is so well known for.

    Instead we played into the hands of those IMF political puppet masters.

    Not only are we going to get a crappy review from the international media for being high handed. We are also going to get alot of crap from the non aligned countries which stand the most to lose from the globalization movement – the NGO’s are the only one’s championing their cause.

    Either way, we will eventually get squeezed from the top and bottom.

    We are starting to look like a confused man holding a bag standing on the crossroads.

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