Thursday, June 15, 2006

Singapore's Prime Minister Calls On Citizens to Smile for IMF Meetings

SINGAPORE plans to greet delegates of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings it will host in September with four million smiles.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has called on Singaporeans and foreigners living in the wealthy city state of 4.4 million to submit a photograph of themselves smiling.

The photos, which can be sent to a government website ( or via mobile phone messaging, will then be collated into a digital mural to welcome September's visitors.

"We should make a special effort to welcome all the delegates to this event. We should greet them literally with four million smiles," Lee said in a speech Sunday.

Lee also urged Singaporeans in the service industry, from taxi drivers to sales assistants and staff at restaurants, to "go the extra mile" to the meetings' delegates.

Some 16,000 delegates and visitors are expected for the meetings, making it the largest event Singapore has ever hosted.

Known for micro-managing its population, Singapore frequently rolls out national campaigns which target areas such as gum chewing, spitting and flushing toilets.

The government has warned that it will use severe punishments such as caning for protesters who commit violent acts during the IMF-World Bank meetings. Public protests are extremely rare in Singapore, where outdoor gatherings of more than four people require a police permit.

Criminals who are caned are strapped to a wooden frame and lashed across the bare buttocks with a long rattan stick.


Right. How about a smile like the above? The IMF certainly has something to smile about. So do WB. They can finally have some peace and quiet as they have set foot in a country where the likelihood of embarrassing street protests that exposes the WB and IMF's lies are non-existent. The IMF and WB are all smiles as they can advocate without disturbance to their infamous structural adjustment policies which will increase poverty around the world, and bring more profit to their very own pockets.

Obviously, Singapore will be smiling as well. With 16 million visitors, the host country will definately see a conspicuous rise in revenue in September.

That said, can we jolt the IMF and WB from their complacency in Singapore? Will it really be peaceful and quiet in Singapore come September? Who knows? You and I can make a difference.

Incidentally, Mobilization for Global Justice (MGJ) will be hold a meeting this Wednesday, 14/06/2006 to plan for actions targeting the IMF and WB's September meetings in Singapore. You know what to do

Technorati Tags: , , and .