10 Sep 2006

The Singapore ban on WDM will not work.

Faced by the ban - by the Singapore government of participants attending the annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF – Britain’s World Development Movement today brought forward the issue of its blockbuster report ‘Scrap the World Bank and IMF’.

WDM director Benedict Southworth said ‘Our government cannot allow critical voices on aid, trade and debt to be silenced by the Singapore regime. The development agenda has been a centrepiece of the Chancellor’s strategy and it would be both a tragedy and a comedy if authoritative and respected critical voices were silenced while he is chairing the key IMF decision making committee.’

WDM debt campaigns officer Martin Powell, who is to represent WDM at Singapore, said ‘Our government is yet to tell us that we have been banned. Our hope is that the government will finally add its voice to those of the World Bank and the IMF who have called for the banned participants be allowed to attend. Our government must move swiftly to agree with the Singapore authorities that both the World Development Movement and our colleagues from the global South who face a parallel ban will be permitted to participate in the annual meetings process.’

Editors Notes

-Gordon Brown chairs the key IMF decision making committee (the IMFC) which meets on the 17th September during the IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings (16th-20th September). Reform of the IMF is on the agenda.

-Martin Powell is WDM’s debt campaigns officer and joint chair of the Jubilee Debt Campaign. He has attended the last three annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF. Benedict Southworth is director of the World Development Movement.

-WDM is the only UK organisation that has been banned. The Italian group CRBM was banned as were Focus on the Global South, Freedom from debt coalition (Philippines) and INFID, Indonesia.

About WDM

Founded in 1970, WDM campaigns to tackle the root causes of poverty. WDM believes that charity is not enough and aims to change the policies that keep the developing world poor. It is a democratic and politically independent organisation with 15,000 supporters and a strong role for its 100 local groups across the UK.

The full report is available as a pdf


Calvin aka Yamada Shun 山田駿 said...

BOO !! BOO!! SG !! BOO!!

soci said...

The world is watching Singapore. And the image of Singapore and the PAP as one and the same entity needs to be broken into tiny pieces.

Anonymous said...

actually most of the world are busy with their own problems, e.g., taiwan

it is up to the opinion leaders to take a position and make reasoned analysis, but they might be too busy looking at tourist attractions and commercial opportunities

Anonymous said...

Singapore thought they scored a coup when they won the bid to host
the meeting. We went out of way beautify the city, what with the 4 mil smiles spending over 100 mil etc etc. Looks like the world is focusing on the negatives : that we have an intolerant govt not accomodating to the freedom of expression.

Anonymous said...

like buying shares, investments can pay return, or not; but then, there are people who say all publicity is good publicity

maybe caning some delegates/demonstrators would be good publicity...

Matilah_Singapura said...

Global poverty exists because STATES and concomitant governments exist.

Governments "for the people and by the people" was the next big lie invented when theocracy failed.

To give the oppressed billions of the world the choice of deciding for themselves whether they want to be rich or poor, or to increase their "wealth", a return to unlimited private property rights and individualism is required.

In the developing world, the state shits all over the freedom of the people.

In developed cuntries like Singapore and the US...and everywhere else only varying in degree, the all-powerful state shits on the rights and freedom of the people too. And because states can "make up their own rules", they created the idea of Eminent Domain.

"Democracy" is a poor idea to sedt checks and balances of eminent domain. Once a govt is voted in, it takes the reins of power vested in the principle of The State. When they do that, the government of the day can do anything it likes. It can murder people, steal their property, restrict movement, restrict speech, restrict association, impose censorship on infomation, favour its cronies, engage in corrupt behaviour and cover up the traces... and so much more.

And there is not a thing the people can do about it, short of a revolution in THOUGHT and DEED.

Anything to wind back the power of the state is a damn good thing. Anything to make a state FAIL is a bloody good thing.

Get rid of the state, and get rid of being fucked-over by a ruling elite class.

Then perhaps we can have a real meritocracy-based free market, determined solely by the CONSUMERS.

The WDM may be laudable in it's intent, but they certainly need to learn more to "solve" global poverty.

Basically, "wealth" is produced by capitalism, and capitalism is demand driven — i.e. by the insatiable wants, needs and desires of Sovereign Consumers. Once the good folks at WDM realise that, chances are they'll direct their actions more effectively.

lee hsien tau said...

Unauthorised anti-corruption probe, Feb 1997

'D' Division

Subject: Soh Wai Wah
Rank: ASP (currently Chief of Staff)

Subject is married, childless.
Subject lives at unit of Leedon Heights condo at junction of Holland Rd and Farrer Rd.
Subject owns no other property and does not appear to have excessive sources of income.

Subject: Jaswant Singh
Rank: Unknown

17 Singapore residents share the same name, from court officials to factory workers. However, only subject is a policeman.
Subject appears to hold junior rank.
Subject appears well-connected and to have excessive sources of income.
Subject holds directorships in countless security related companies and a number of properties including a bungalow along Mountbatten Rd.

Investigation suspended due to arrest. Of the two subjects, number 2 holds promise. Probe to resume when situation permits, like when there's a regime change.