- Singapore 2006
Singapore 2006 was a group of several concurrent events that were held in
Singaporein support of the 61st Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fundand the World Bank Group. The opening ceremonyand plenary sessions for the main meetings took place from 19-20 September 2006 at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre(SSICEC) in Marina Centre. The ministers of G8, G10 and G24 concided with the event on 16 September. Registration for event delegates began on 11 September 2006at City Hall, and the three-day Program of Seminarsfrom 16 September 2006at the Pan Pacific Singapore. Other concurrent events that were held at various venues include the Singapore Biennale 2006 ( 4 September- 12 November), the Raffles Forum 2006 (14-15 September), Indonesia Day( 17 September) and the Global Emerging Markets Investors Forum and Networking Reception ( 18 September).
Event organisers expected a turnout of about 16,000 delegates and observers, [cite web | title = Singapore 2006 Annual Meetings | work = Singapore 2006 Organising Committee | url = http://www.singapore2006.org/sections/annual_meet/about_2006.html | accessdate =16 September | accessyear = 2006 ] but saw a record 23,000
delegates and 300 finance ministers registering themselves, the largest turnout for an overseas annual meeting. [ cite news | first = Siew Ying |last = Wong | title =23,000 people registered to attend IMF/World Bank Meetings |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/230126/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-08-13 ] It is the largest meeting in Singapore's history, and other meetings include the 117th IOC Sessionand the WTO Ministerial Conference 1996. The meeting's key focus was to improve the lives of the people in developing nations, with many member nations calling for a louder voice, especially for developing countries. Dominating issues include quotas and voting rights in the IMF, in turn decides on the policies on the prevention and management of financial crises. [ cite news | first = S |last = Ramesh | title = Key focus of IMF/WB meetings to improve lives of people in developing countries |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/230144/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-08-13 ] The event ended with the main achievement being the reform of the IMF system, the main topics were the prospects of and the risk of the global economy.
The emblem for the 2006 annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group is
goldin colour, with lines and a bud in the emblem. Gold is selected for the emblem as it relates to the financial sector and the country's contributions to the global economy. It exemplifies excellence and strength, which characterise Singapore as a regional businessand financialcentre. The tones point towards the increase in the wealth of the nations, with expanding richness and scope for the people. The bud may appear to represent the plurality of ideas and cultures at the event. It also symbolises the life in the city-state, that brings forth its potential for growth in the global market. With its curve, the spine depicts the horizon of the world. The stylised lines are the longitudes, to represent the connection of countries and world leaders at the annual meetings. Petals are to signify the unity of leaders to have a common goal at the meetings. The lines also depict the congruent roles countries have to achieve international cooperation for growth in the world. [ cite web | title = Logo Rationale | work = Singapore 2006 Organising Committee | url = http://www.singapore2006.org/sections/logo/logo.html | accessdate =9 September | accessyear = 2006 ]
30 September 2002, Lim Hng Kiangwho was then the Second Minister for Finance, Minister for Health and the Deputy Chairman for the Monetary Authority of Singapore, announced Singapore as the host of the annual meetings for 2006. The Memorandum of Understandingwas signed on 23 September 2003at Dubai International Convention Centerby Lim, International Monetary Fund managing director Horst Köhler, and president of the World Bank Group James Wolfensohn. [ cite news |title = Singapore will host 2006 Annual Meetings |url = http://www.singapore2006.org/sections/media/release_folder/pressrelease/pr23092003.html |publisher = Singapore 2006 Organising Committee |date = 2003-09-23 ]
Venue and logistics
Pico Art International, a local event marketingcorporation, was assigned to prepare the event venue. Pico had participated in major past events such as the 117th IOC Session, 2006 Commonwealth Gamesand the 2004 Summer Olympics. They built over a thousand double storey offices in 35 days, or three office units per hour. [ cite news |first = Julia|last = Ng |title = Preparations for IMF/World Bank meetings move into final stages |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/cna/cgi-bin/search/search_7days.pl?status=&search=singapore%202006&id=227865 |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-08-31 ] The structures within the convention centre were taken down nine days after the meetings. These double storey offices were air-conditioned, equipped with lighting, telephones and internet connection. It had 41 staircases and five elevators. One thousand tons of steel, over 100,000 pieces of wallpanels, 25,000 m² of carpeting, 32,000 pieces of ceiling boards, 3,000 lights and 15,000 pieces of furniturewere needed for the construction of these offices. [ cite news |title = Building Trial Gives Surety Of WorldClass Office Facilities For Singapore 2006 |url = http://www.singapore2006.org/sections/feature/feature14062006.html |publisher = Singapore 2006 Organising Committee |date = June 2006 ]
The main venue,
Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre, received a faceliftwith an upgraded lobby, entrance and a facadewhich was lighted at night. 100,000 flowers and shrubs were used to beautify the landscapearound the area as well as other parts of the island, including Orchard Road, Suntec's vicinity as well as the East Coast Parkway. These plants included frangipanitrees, fox palms and heliconias, as well as other types of plants, coming in different colours, shapes and sizes, planted along pavements and road dividers. This showcased the tropical plants of the island to the world as well. [ cite news | first = Mun Wai |last = Wong | title =Garden City spruced up for IMF/World Bank meetings |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/224334/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-08-11 ] Flyovers and the City Hall undergone repainting and works to repave the areas near Suntec City were pushed forward to prepare for the annual meetings. Also, walkways have been resurfaced by the Land Transport Authority. [ cite news | first = Mun Wai |last = Wong | title = Singapore undergoes face-lift ahead of IMF/World Bank meetings |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/224145/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-08-10 ] At Singapore Changi Airport, posters were put around the terminals of the airport to welcome the delegates from different countries.
A campaign known as "
Four Million Smiles" was launched in July 2006 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loongto prepare the service sector for the event. Lim Hwee Hwais the Minister appointed to lead the Organising Committee of the event.
As Singapore had been a prime terrorism target and because of violent protests at previous meets in other cities, the government used this to justify maintaining overwhelming amounts of security in and around the vicinity of the main events. The
Singapore Police Forcewas entrusted with planning and implementing security arrangements and the enforcement of law and order, with the support of Aetos and CISCO auxiliary police forces. These arrangements include the main venue's operations, border security, as well as island-wide operations. [cite news | title = Police News Release | url = http://www.spf.gov.sg/s2006/doc/20060830_SecurityArrangementsNR.pdf | publisher = Singapore Police Force | date = 2006-08-30 |format=PDF]
Over 10,000 police officers [ cite news | first = David |last = Boey | title =Security stepped up in run-up to IMF gathering |url = http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/6771/2186/1600/229599593_d5b642f8e8_b.jpg|publisher = The Straits Times |date = 2006-08-31 ] are being deployed in the
Marina Centrearea and other meeting and event venues, including Police national servicemencalled back as part of their reservistobligations and officers from the Volunteer Special Constabulary. The traffic police deployed officers at all key junctions to direct traffic due to road closures, officers from the Gurkha Contingentand the Key Installation Protection Unitconduct patrols around the vicinity and at entrances to the barricaded areas, while regular officers ensure law and order within the convention venue and in surrounding hotels.
Security is exceptionally tight in the Suntec City area, with
barricades being put up near the area's vicinity. The Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centrehas been closed to public during this period, and several car park entrances to the mall have been closed to the public. During the event, Suntec City and the convention centre is being taken care of by the Singapore Police Forceand CISCO Security, with many policemenpatrolling the mall and the convention centre. Vehicle checks are done by the police when they enter the carparks. The overhead bridgefrom CityLink Mallto Suntec Cityhas been closed to the public for the meetings. A security office has been temporarily built at the main entrance of Suntec City Mallwith metal detectors and x-raymachines being installed, and other security facilities. These machines have also been installed at SICEC for the delegates and CSO protestors.
Road closures in the vicinity of the event venues came into effect on the night of
10 September 2006, with police presence increased substantially within SICEC and in adjoining hotels. There was a notable drop in traffic volume around the area even during the morning peak hours, and traffic remained relatively smooth. [ cite news | first = Farah Abdul |last = Rahim| title =Smooth traffic around Suntec despite road closures for IMF/World Bank meetings |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/229721/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-08-11 ] Meeting delegates commenced officially at City Hall on 11 September 2006, 0800 hours (SST). There was a lack of taxis in Marina Centre, and booking a taxi was slow, and long queues at taxi stands were seen. The road diversion has caused Marina Mandarin Singaporeto get its porters to flag taxis from the main road. Taxi companies reported no increase in taxi bookings in the area. However at Singapore Changi Airportcabbies had complained the wait of the delegates have been long. Taxi operator Comfort says it is aware of the situation and will work with the organisers of the event and nearby hotels on the call bookings. They added they will increase the number of taxis in the Marina Centre area. [ cite news | first = Rita |last = Zahara | title =Taxis in short supply at Suntec area as cabbies avoid the place |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/229802/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-08-11 ]
It has been reported that some technical and maintenance crew at SICEC has been barred entry to their workplace for months. The reason was due to they have not received their passes from the organisers. An anonymous worker told the press that their passes had several problems on it. They were issued temporary passes earlier in September, but they have since expired. They were not let in without proper credentials. The workers who do not have passes have been given a day off from work, whereas the rest who had passes worked double to get ready for the meetings. An industry source stated that about 200 to 300 workers faced the same problem with their passes. The
managing directorfrom Showtec Corporationtold the press around twenty of his crew were sent home as no pass have been issued to them, despite most of them submitted their forms a few months ago. A full strength of sixty is required to run the meetings. He added that a number of the passes did not come with an “S” at the bottom left hand corner of the card, which is a security feature for the person to be allowed into the Programme of Seminarswhich brings all the ministers and high-level delegates from 184 countries. [ cite news | first = Ching Li |last = Tor | title = Crew barred entry to Suntec |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/229913/1/.html |publisher = TODAY for Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-08-12 ]
It has been reported shops at
Suntec City Mallwhich is inside the convention centre have seen a drop in business from 30% to 70%, this came after the area was secured on Sunday night. Several restaurants saw no crowd at the restaurants, this also affected nearby Marina Square. Suntec City has also given promotions to its shoppers to attract shoppers, and special privileges have been given to the delegates for the meetings. [ cite news | first = Jasmine |last = Yin | title = Where are the shoppers? |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/229910/1/.html |publisher = TODAY for Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-08-12 ]
Meetings and other events will officially commence on this day. 23,000 delegates had registered on this day to attend the meetings. The
Singapore Changi Airportofficially completes renovations at Terminal 2 after three years of upgrading. The IMF chief Rodrigo de Ratohas criticised attempts made by the United States, People's Republic of Chinaand some other nations to depress fuelprices, and advocated raising prices, instead of tax breaks or subsidies at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countriesseminar on the first day of the conference. He added that domestic pricing policies for refined fuel should reflect the scarcity of the resource, and high world crude oilprices. He acknowledged there would be some political resistance to raise the oil prices, but he mentioned successful experiences in Indonesia, Jordanand the United Arab Emirates. He called for adequate investment in the oil industry to ease concerns about oil supply in the later years, and appealed oil producing countries to balance the spending and savings for future generations. [ cite news |title = Keep fuel, gasoline prices high, IMF http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/230027/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-08-13 ] The IMF warned that the global markets faces a risk of a major setback, including an economic downturn in the United States, falling homeprices, further surge in oil prices, interest rate rises to contain inflationary pressures, which the IMF said in its twice a year report on global financial stability. [ cite news | title = Key focus of IMF/WB meetings to improve lives of people in developing countries |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/230070/1/.html |publisher = AFP for Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-08-13 ]
Raffles Forumwas held at Raffles City Convention Centre, with one plenary session on this day. At SSICEC, there was a World Economic Outlookmeeting. The IMF predicted that the growth in the economy will increase, but there could be global imbalances.
United Kingdom's group of delegates arrived in Singapore, including Chancellor of the Exchequeras well as chairman of the International Monetary and Financial Committee Gordon Brownand Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England. [ cite news | first = Julia | last = Ng | title = UK Governor of the IMF Gordon Brown arrives in Singapore for annual meetings |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/230640/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-08-15 ] There were also press briefings by both the IMF and the World Bank Group. The police allowed the 22 out of the 27 banned activists in to Singapore, after an appeal from the IMF/World Bank Group.
A one day G7
finance ministers meeting is held at Raffles Hotelto discuss the world's economy. The three day Program of Seminarscommences with 161 speakers at the event, attendees include private sectorrepresentatives, governmentdelegates, civil society representatives and senior officials from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Topics discussed include economic growth, the future of Chinaand India, regional issues and faster economic growth of the Pacific Islands, ageingpopulation in Asia, petrolprices, preventing a financial crisis, oil trade, poverty, trade agreements and other Asian issues. People's Republic of China, though not a G7 industralised nations member, is expected to loom large, with the minister and central bankers to press Beijingto further ease controls of the Renminbi. The agenda of the meeting is about what will be seen as dangerous imbalances in the global economy. The United Stateshas run up massive accounts and budget deficits, export-led surpluses are developing in Asia. It also marks the debut to the G7 meetings, that is United States Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who was formerly the chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs. The United States wants the fight against terrorismand nuclear proliferationto be included on the agenda. [ cite news | title = G7 ministers open talks under economic storm clouds |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporebusinessnews/print/230735/1/.html |publisher = AFP for Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-08-16 ] The Program of Seminarsopens on this day and runs for two days. The G24 ministers meeting will be held at SSICEC as well as the Program of Seminars.
The second day of the Program of Seminars began, and an
International Monetary and Financial Committee(IMFC) meeting held. Press conferences of African finance ministers as well as Gordon Brown and de Rato were held at SSICEC. The World Bank announced that they will provide a US$15 million grant to combat bird flu in Indonesia. [ cite news| title = World Bank announces $15m grant to help Indonesia fight bird flu | url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/230895/1/.html | publisher = ChannelNewsAsia | date = 2006-09-17 ] Seven lenders united and signed an agreement to combat corruption, these banks include the IMF and the World Bank. Also, CSOs discussed on several issues regarding daily issues.
Lee Hsien Loongand Senior Minister Goh Chok Tongattended the day's meetings. The Program of Seminarsends on this day and delegates discussed about the future of global economy, poverty and the future of Asia. Ministers of the members of the International Monetary Fundapproved a plan to give more powers and voting rights to People's Republic of China, Mexico, South Koreaand Turkey. This vote had 90.6% of the members supporting the move. However, the IMF remains dominated by Europe, the United Statesand Japan. China has less power in the IMF, although its economy is larger than Belgiumand Netherlandscombined. The IMF and World Bankhave been criticised by Brazil, Argentina, Asian and African nations for prescribing severe belt-tightening measures during their economic crisis. The American government sees the reform of the IMF to redress global economic imbalances, which were cited as one of the biggest menaces to world growth. The IMF is stepping up in its financial surveillance through multilateralconsultations to make it more effective and relevant. [ cite news| title = IMF members approve radical reform plan: German minister | url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_business/print/231143/1/.html | publisher = AFP for ChannelNewsAsia | date = 2006-09-18 ] The World Bank president Paul Wolfowitzsaid that the poor should not be abandoned because their governments are weak, otherwise the people would be penalised twice. The IMF and World Bank see the need to combat corruption in developing countries. The World Bank will work with developing countries by working with countries or offered through projects on the countries itself. Wolfowitz said that the issue of governance is being addressed, and the most important thing is to take the principles in the paper, applying it in terms of budget allocation. Matters may be complicated due to lack of political will. He added that working with developing countries is a starting point and must work with banks, global organisations and other governments to stop corruption in their nations. [ cite news| first = Dominique | last = Loh | title = IMF/World Bank maps out strategies to tackle corruption in developing nations | url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/231094/1/.html | publisher = ChannelNewsAsia | date = 2006-09-18 ] African nations also called for more voting rights in the IMF for countries in their continent, at forums held in Africa itself.
plenary sessions commenced on this day with an opening ceremony hosted by Senior Minister Goh Chok Tongat Esplanade - Theatres on the Baythat night for some 5,000 official delegates with an official reception. The building was closed to public the entire day for the evening event. Several musicand danceevents were performed by several local arts groups. A buffetspread was also included in the opening ceremony. After a tour at the , the guests were led into the concert hallfor "Diaspora", which is a mixed mediaproduction, combining music, videoand dramaof five Asian artists searching for their identities. The production itself was made by local arts company TheatreWorks, and it costs S$700,000 (US$437,500). The delegates sang praises of the production with one saying the music played by the orchestrais good, one of the stories told about the different cultures, ages and trying to find yourself, another said the production was colourful and diverse, with a lot of life in it. [ cite news | first = Valarie | last = Tan | title = World Bank delegates treated to cultural festival at Esplanade |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/231405/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-09-20 ] At the finale of the event, a ten minute display of fireworks at the Marina Bay transformed the area into a multi-cultural street with segments of Chinatown and Little India.
At the plenary sessions, addresses were made by the
chairmanof the year's annual meetings, as well as the heads of the International Monetary Fundand the World Bankat SSICEC. The three parties stressed the need for the World Trade Organization's Doha Roundtalks to resume. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loongsaid that the impasse in the Doha Round of trade negotiations carries a heavy cost and a high risk, and will extend beyond economics. Lee added that good governance is the key to help economies to open up in the eraof globalisationand improve the lives for the people. He also outlined the roles of a good governmentin managing the process of changes. Lee said that governments must win the support of globalisation from the people and give them better opportunities. At the opening speech of IMF managing director Rodrigo de Ratosaid the world leaders must quickly revive the Doha Round of trade talks to prevent a damaging shift towards protectionism. De Rato also said that the world is having a period of high growth and low inflationunseen since the 1960s, and a solid growth in the economy could be expected in the following year. He added that the global growth cycle may turn and the best hope for good performance lies in further increase in international trade. The three risks to world economic prospects include rising oil prices, disorderly unwinding of global payments imbalances, and the prevention of trade. World Bank president Paul Wolfowitztold donor countries to increase aid to poor nations, and wealthy nations to put Africaas the top of the priority list of povertyfighting. [ cite news | title = Singapore, IMF, World Bank call for resumption of world trade talks |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/print/231244/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-08-19 ]
The IMF and World Bank heads agreed to do more for reform work in the system, including giving more powers to developing economies as they play a bigger role in the world's economy. The leaders warned the global growth cycle may change and further increases to international trade will guarantee an ensured performance. The IMF is trying to serve its members better and a
Multilateral Consultationwas to address global payment imbalances. The delegates paid tribute to Asia's economic growth and successes such as job creationand progress through private sectordevelopment as well as a good government. [ cite news | first = Siew Ying | last = Wong | title = IMF and World Bank heads agree on need for more work on reform |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/231349/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-08-19 ]
The event and the plenary sessions ended on this day, with the main achievement of member countries that they supported the IMF reform programme. The majority have also supported the second phase of reforms to revise the quota formula. The meeting was attended by 3,400 delegates. IMF managing director, de Rato was delighted with the overwhelming support of the support in the revision of quotas and the voice in the organisation. The IMF and the World Bank thanked the country for hosting the annual meetings, Mr De Rato mentioned that he had seems thousands of
smiles from the Four Million Smilescampaign. He praised Singapore for not only being a city of enterprising people but also a city that makes strangers feel like friends. [ cite news | first = May | last = Wong | title = IMF/WB meetings wrap up with member nations supporting reform |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/231511/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-08-20 ]
Raffles Forumwas held at Raffles City Convention Centrefor a period of two days. The event was organised by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policyand speakers include Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, members of the school faculty, as well as other ministers, professors, economists, diplomats and chief executive officers.
Institute of International Finance meetings
Institute of International Financemeetings are being held at Shangri-La Hotel Singaporefor a period of two days and an opening dinnerwill be organised for the IIF delegates.
List of venues
Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre(Main venue)
* City Hall (Registration)
Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay(Official opening ceremony)
The Pan Pacific Singapore(Seminars)
* Istana (Banquet for governors and spouses)
Raffles Hotel( G8meeting)
Raffles City Convention Centre( Raffles Forum)
Mount Faber( The Jewel Box; welcome tea for delegates spouses)
* Asian Civilisations Museum, Empress Place (Lunch for governors spouses)
Shangri-La Hotel Singapore( Institute of International Financeannual membership meeting and dinner)
For the second time in the meetings' history (the first was Dubai 2003), outdoor demonstrations are outlawed due to Singapore laws banning outdoor protests and marches. Numerous appeals to the authorities to approve such protest were rejected as the government cited security reasons including potential terrorist threat. The authorities are also denying entries of accredited civil society representatives whom the police regards as "troublemakers", despite the IMF/World Bank appeals to the government to allow them to attend the meetings.cite news |first = John |last = Burton |title = 'IMF and World Bank rebuke Singapore' |url = http://www.ft.com/cms/s/d29328d2-3f32-11db-a37c-0000779e2340.html |publisher = Financial Times |date = 2006-09-08 ] Registered
civil service organisations (CSO) may hold indoor demonstrations on the ground floor of Suntec Singapore outside Starbucks Coffee, within a 14 by 8 metre space boundary, but CSOs are disappointed with the arrangement. [cite news |first = Pearl |last = Forss |title = 'CSOs disappointed with space set aside for protests at IMF/World Bank meetings' |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/print/229590/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-09-10] The CSO protests were supposed to start on 11 September, but the police has pushed the date to 13 September. The area is equipped with computers, printers and a conference room. ONE (Singapore) has produced videos for awareness of povertythroughout the world, and will be aired every ten minutes at the screens of convention centre. They are expected to protest on povertyand corruption, and how civil goods should respond to Jogjakarta and Aceh. It has been reported that one activist hopes to get global policy makers more attuned to the needs of youths when drafting policies. [ cite news |first = Rita |last = Zahara |title = 'CSOs raise issues like poverty and corruption at forums' |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/230591/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-09-15] Thirty people from Global Call To Action Against Povertywore white t-shirts gags with "no voice" written on them on 15 September. [ cite news |first = Pearl |last = Forss |title = 'Indoor protests at Suntec Singapore expected to begin on Wednesday' |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/229726/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-09-12 ] An activist from Action Aid Internationalheld a solo protest on 14 September, and her group staged a silent protest the day after. [ cite news |first = Satish |last = Cheney |title = 'First protest staged at Suntec Singapore' |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/230357/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-09-14 ] Some CSOs have accused the IMF/World Bank of deliberately choosing Singapore to host the meetings, because of its authoritarianreputation.
11 September, when civic activists began arriving in Singapore, 27 activists were denied entry and had to leave the country.cite news |first = Andrew|last = Harding |title = Singapore welcome raises doubts |url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5344442.stm |publisher = BBC News|date = 2006-08-31 ] The police explained that these people were involved in violent demonstrations, including breaking into the World Bank headquarters in Washington D.C.. These individuals claimed that they had permission from the IMF and World Bank, but the police had stated that it is the local government's decision whether or not to allow them to enter the city state. Later, the World Bank and IMF accused the Singapore government of failing to allow the protestors into the country, with Paul Wolfowitzcalling it a "going-back on an explicit agreement", saying that Singapore had signed an open-access agreement or the Memorandum of Understandingin 2003. The World Bank added that it is a "breach" of their agreement and they worked with them and also valued their role even when they disagree on their views. They were cleared by their home governments beforehand and the World Bank believed that all of them should not be excluded from the annual meetings. The organising committee told the press, they were looking into the matter at that point of time [cite news|author=Staff Writer|publisher= BBC News|date=2006-09-14|title=Singapore 'breaks protest deal'|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5344456.stm] [ cite news |first = Ansley |last = Ng |title = More protests, now from the World Bank |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/230345/1/.html |publisher = TODAY for Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-09-14 ] and later condemned the restrictions as "authoritarian". [cite news|author=Staff Writer|publisher= BBC News|date=2006-09-15|title=Singapore branded 'authoritarian'|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5348134.stm] At that time, the Singapore police tried to contact the individuals via the World Bank or the embassies in Singapore, to prevent them from making a wasted trip to the country. [ cite news |first = Asha |last = Porpatal |title = Singapore bans 28 from country during IMF/World Bank meetings |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/229800/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-09-12 ] [ cite news |first = Siew Ying |last = Wong |title = Police firm on banning undesirable groups from IMF/World Bank meetings |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/print/229337/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-09-08 ] On 15 September 2006, the Singapore government announced that they will allow 22 out of the 27 banned activists into the country after reviewing the list of activists whose entry was subject to an interview if they entered the city-state. The organising committee said it reviewed the input provided by the IMF and the World Bank earlier that morning. [ cite news |title = Singapore 2006 committee decides to let in 22 of 27 activists after review |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/230597/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-09-15 ] The Singapore Government said on 20 September 2006that its decision to lift the ban on 22 activists came before the public statement by World Bank slamming it. In a letter carried in the Wall Street JournalAsia, Home Affairs Ministrycorporate communications director Ong-Chew Peck Wan clarified the sequence of events. She wrote: 'In order to be as helpful as possible, Singapore reviewed the names whom the IMF and World Bank were prepared to vouch for and lifted the bans on 22 of them. We did this before the public statement by Mr Wolfowitz.' [cite news | first = Shing Huei |last = Peh | title =Government 'had decided to lift ban before World Bank statement' |url = http://straitstimes.asiaone.com/portal/site/STI/menuitem.70300a17785a04285f53bcd7d3a0a0a0/?vgnextoid=acfd8a41d7ccd010VgnVCM100000430a0a0aRCRD&vgnextfmt=vgnartid:acfd8a41d7ccd010VgnVCM100000430a0a0aRCRD:vgnpdate:1158875940000 |publisher = The Straits Times |date = 2006-09-21 ] [cite news |first = Hasnita A|last = Majid |title = Singapore responds to Wall Street Journal Asia's editorials criticising nation |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/print/231553/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-09-20 ] On an another occasion, two Filipino activists were deported back to their country on 13 Septemberas they were not accredited by the IMF/World Bank, and could post a security and public order threat. It was after interviews and full consideration of the circumstances. At 0700 (GMT +8) of 14 September, an Indian national was denied entry into the country, and has been deported by the police. [ cite news |first = Hasnita A |last = Majid |title = Police deport two Filipino activists due to security reasons |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/230324/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-09-14 ]
Some members of the Singapore opposition, including the
Singapore Democratic Party, conducted a protest rally and march on 16 September 2006. The so-called Empower Singaporeans Rally and March was set to start at 11 am at the Speakers' Corner at Hong Lim Parkbut was refused to continue to other planned stops at Parliament House, Suntec City, and the Istana. [ cite news |name = Singapore Democratic Party |title = Rally and March set for 16 September |url = http://www.singaporedemocrat.org/articleWBIMF13.html |publisher = Singapore Democratic Party |date = 2006-09-06 ] On 11 September, it was reported that the police had started an investigation against these protest plans. The police reportedly had denied two applications for the planned peaceful protest and therefore confiscated leaflets that were handed out at Raffles City. [ cite news |title = Police investigating politician over IMF rally plan |url = http://singapore-window.org/sw06/060911AF.HTM |publisher = Agence France Presse |date = 2006-09-08 ] Dr. Chee Soon Juan, of the Singapore Democratic Party, held a speech at Hong Lim Park. [ cite news |title = Singapore opposition politician blocked from protesting |url = http://sg.news.yahoo.com/060916/1/43gwn.html |publisher = Yahoo! Singapore News |date = 2006-09-16 ] On 17 September, the protesters announced that they would continue their protest until Tuesday morning, 19 September, after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's speech before the WB-IMF meeting. [ cite news |first = Soon Juan |last = Chee |title = Latest announcement by Dr Chee Soon Juan at Speakers' Corner |url = http://www.singaporedemocrat.org/articleWBIMF50.html |publisher = Singapore Democratic Party |date = 2006-09-17 ]
Some organisations have decided to hold outdoor demonstrations in
Batam, Indonesiainstead, to circumvent the ban in Singapore. About 1,000 delegates were planning to protest there for a week with a final outdoor demonstration on 18 September. The Indonesian laws state that they were allowed to protest on the streets, if they informed the authorities three days beforehand. [ cite news |first = Julia|last = Ng |title = 'Alternative external venues' raised by World Bank not possible: Lim Hwee Hua |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/print/226471/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-08-23 ] The authorities were reportedly lukewarm towards their proposed demonstrations and forum. A number of Indonesian NGOs took a half-page advertisement in a Batam newspapervoicing their opposition to the protests, arguing that the big gathering of NGO's activists would "undermine the investment climate on the island". On 6 September, the Batam police had sent a letter to the organisers that both their demonstration and forum would be banned. The police cited economic, political and security reasons for the ban, adding that other NGOs were not in favour of such protests. According to Indonesian officials, Batam police is helping to maintain the security during the meetings. [ cite news |first = Chee Kong |last = Low | title = Batam officially bans anti-IMF protests |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/229205/1/.html |publisher = TODAY for Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-09-08 ] Later, on 11 September, the Indonesian police granted a permit for a three-day protest forum in Batam, but there will still be no outdoor demonstrations. [ cite news | title = Indonesian police give nod to World Bank-IMF protest forum |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sprptnews/print/229740/1/.html |publisher = AFP for Channel NewsAsia |date = 2006-09-11 ]
A survey amongst delegates found a high satisfaction level with regards to the efficiency of event organisation, and of Singapore as a whole. [cite news |first = Pearl|last = Forss |title = IMF-World Bank delegates praise Singapore service standards: survey |url = http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/266951/1/.html |publisher = Channel NewsAsia |date = 2007-03-28 ]
Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group
Economy of Singapore
Four Million Smiles
* [http://www.singapore2006.org Singapore 2006] - official website "(Not available)"
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