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IMF Meeting Shines Light on Singapore's Rigid Ways

Thursday, Sept. 21, 2006

In August, employees of the Singapore Ministry of Education received a memo telling them to guard their computers against miscreants "targeting Singapore government's web presence . . . in an attempt to discredit the event and embarrass the organizing country." The event is the annual meeting of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The miscreants are anti-globalization protestors.

Yes, the IMF and World Bank are in town, with a total of more than 10,000 delegates, advisors, and hangers-on. This time, the hangers-on will not include the sideshow of civil society and anti-globalization protesters in the streets. In Singapore, public protest is illegal, and the world is seeing an IMF meeting where civil society is restricted to an 8-by-8-meter spot in a mall, beside Starbucks. ...

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