IMF/World Bank Production

Yes, we all know that IMF/World Bank is going to hold its annual meeting in Singapore. We’ve been told to smile, the drivers in cabs I’ve been in this week or so seem generally more conversational and friendly. All that motivational speak did work after all. They’ll still cut 3 lanes to get to their destination, but hey, it may be to your favour. Lariena and I took a spin in chel’s car after sending marycherry home last saturday. We decided to cruise around at the town area, to see the flowers that were purposely planted by the roads and highways to show that we truly live up to our name as a Garden City. There were sunflowers, chrysanthemums, the works. The govt definitely pulled out all the stops on this one, bending over backwards, so eager to please. But of course, that’s not the point, the point is how Singapore is treating those activists. We’ve banned them, designated places for them to wave their placards– no more hot and sweaty streets for you, the streets are for the good honest people of Singapore who subscribes to capitalism, the activists can go and protest in an air-conditioned environment somewhere at suntec city. Unless you want to go to Batam to join the other group of supporters offering moral support of such protests overseas.

Singapore has been made to look like the the usually paranoid, insecure single-party state it has been portrayed as in international media. Fair enough, I personally think that a lot of things about the paranoia, insecurity and single-party part is true. But the thing is IMF knows this, the World Bank knows this. My take on these things is that they actually chose Singapore for its high level security, so that the protests don’t get out of hand. And seriously, I think they understand that Singapore will also do more than what is required. And that by choosing Singapore, the activists and the World Bank can actually have a common ground/goal or enemy– Singapore. Thus uniting them when they can never be united. This will then distract them from the issues at hand, be it destroying Starbucks and MacDonald’s outlets. I think it’ll be very shrewd and cunning of them. Of course this is just speculative, my little conspiracy theories, but think on it. IMF/World Bank will be able to be the good guys on this one, Sg will be the bad cop. This has never happened. They are almost, always never the good guys in this respect. By trying to grant activists their space, trying to cajole the govt into giving them seats at the table, they get on the good side of the activists. One starts to think maybe they’re not so bad after all. One shouldn’t bite the hand that gave you that seat in the conference. Either way, it’s a wayang. The audience smiles in the mean time, taken for a ride.

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6 Responses to “IMF/World Bank Production”
  1. mstan says:

    diana! i still want the sunflower… 😛

  2. farnie says:

    Hahaha, yeah, I’ll go pluck one for you. No worries. Pass it to you on Sat then. Lol.

  3. shiuan says:

    eh, on a slightly different note – depending on how you are with conspiracy theories – go family.sg =)

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  1. […] But I digress, once again. I think Gayle, as well as Diana, have got it right, tho. They both mentioned in their posts, that Singapore was nicely made the fall guy for ban on protests here. The rebukes from the IMF/WB while harsh towards Singapore, leave unanswered the question: surely global organisations such as the IMF/WB would have done enough research on Singapore to have realised that it restricts civil liberties and bans protests? What were they expecting? Conspiracy theory or not, I am of the firm belief that IMF/WB chose Singapore as a meeting location this year knowing full well that it would not look on protests kindly, just as why it chose Dubai for a meeting location in the wake of 9/11 then. IMF/WB, as much as they purport to support and engage open debates, will probably much prefer it if all those NGOs would rather shut up and go do something else with their lives, so to speak. It’s just that they need to look like the hero in their meetings, hence they have no choice but to allow protests. However, where Singapore is involved, Singapore itself rules out these people protesting in the first place, so IMF/WB can play the poor innocent entity who is powerless to fight against the harsh rules imposed on the civil activists by this authoritarian draconian government. […]

  2. […] And so I imagine a conversation between Humanoid Interface (HI), and a liberal (L); […]

  3. […] It’s really nice to have spirited discussions. Especially spirited discussions that, unexpectedly, will get recorded in the blogs that float around cyberspace. I’ve too many liabilities floating around in cyberspace (think petition). Maybe I had it coming but here goes, the extended discussion about IMF/WB in ad verbatim no less. The views of SingaporeansSingaporeans, good trusty ol’ meritocracy-thumping, scholarship system approving Singaporeans, are confounded why do anyone in the right mind take to the streets? And so I imagine a conversation between Humanoid Interface (HI), and a liberal (L);  L, “What do you think about the IMF/World Bank meeting in Singapore?” […]



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