25 Aug 2006

How NOT to succeed in the conventions business

Yawning Bread. August 2006


We shouldn't forget that one of the winning reasons why we awarded the first casino licence to Las Vegas Sands was because they had the best proposal for bringing large conventions to Singapore. Their architectural plans included huge convention halls and their business plans highlighted their ability to attract super-sized meetings.


Once again, Singapore is demonstrating our world-class ability to be totally schizophrenic. We want people's money, but we don't want to give people the freedom to do what they wish to do. We want Sands to go all out to attract conventioneers at the same time that we give ourselves all the bad press about how North Korean we are.


Having the World Bank issuing statements objecting to the way we run the show after they had agreed to locate their conference in Singapore is a fine way to secure our share of the conventions business. Here we're talking about upgrading our customer service standards so that the thousands of World Bank/IMF delegates will see a smiling side of Singapore, and there our chief customer -- the World Bank -- is feeling dissed. Brilliant!



to read the article in full.

Related Link:
World Bank: S'pore Should Waive Ban on Outdoor Protests

9 comments:

antipathy said...

don't be dumb, the World Bank knew full well that there wouldn't be any demostrators on the streets when they picked Singapore.
OF course they will tell the papers that, "oh we want to see freedom of assembly" and all that crap, but how can you even take their words at face value?

soci said...

If they continue to badger Sg into allowing street protests then we might have to acknowledge that they are actually telling the truth.

I have little belief in the idea that Sg police will bend to their wishes, but if the WB/IMF decide to hold their next meeting in North Korea or Burma then I feel that they may be seen as undermining their own calls for street protests.

The entire debate in Singapore does seem to depend on the idea that everyone who might wish to protest will be in the form of 'organisations'.

If their is a sudden increase in tourists arriving before the meeting it might indicate 'individuals' circumventing this debate and showing up on mass. What is to stop a few secretive individuals organising a mass 'flash mob' or two?

Singapore is a tecnologically connected society and the crowd that turned up for MrB recently could be seen as a test case. No one has been arrested as far as I know. So maybe the authorities are unable to track as well as they would like you to think.

Since when did a protestor require a 'permission' form from the police. The whole point of protest is to go against the demands of authorities not beg for permission.

antipathy said...

organized protests usually require the permission or at least the notification with the relevant authorities. If the turnout is large the police have to called in.

Even France has this law.

It is just that SIngapore carries it to the extreme.

soci said...

when the protest aginst the sacking of MrB happened ther was no permission sought.

Anonymous said...

>>Singapore is demonstrating our world-class ability to be totally schizophrenic. We want people's money, but we don't want to give people the freedom to do what they wish to do.

that's not schizo; that's smart business

>>the World Bank issuing statements objecting to the way we run the show after they had agreed to locate their conference in Singapore

they are not moving the conference somewhere else, are they?

antipathy said...

to soci:

The mrb protest was not an organized one. Hence the fact that the protestors were silent, were separated into groups of 3 in the same location, the only identifying mark was the color of their shirt.

IN actual fact the law allowed the police to arrest them, (actually the police can arrest anybody in Singapore on suspicion of a crime). It is just that it would create a scene and hurt the "democratization" phase of singapore politic.

Anonymous said...

did mr brown no good in any case

Matilah_Singapura said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Matilah_Singapura said...

antipathy is right. All these powerful global bankers know the score. They just want to win "brownie points" with protest groups.

Put it this way, if the bankers are shown to support S'pore's decision on banning protests, then the global banking community may be seen to show "proof" that they are against dissent and are anti-democracy.

That is extremely bad for "business", and these folks don't need a worse reputation than they already have.

Now if they are ever accused of slamming democracy, they can always say "Not true. We vigourously support democracy by openly disagreeing with S'pore's govt to disallow protests".

In politics, the main function has never been to "solve problems". It has always been about power — and one fundamental that must be learnt is how to dupe as many people as possible.