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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

IMF happenings from the eyes of the S.O

IMF. Words that should be familiar with all the Singaporeans out there.

You see the words in the papers. You hear them in the radio. You see the hear them on TV. Aunties and uncles are talking about it. Cabbies and drivers are complaining about it. Organisers and contractors are stressing over it, Policemen are doing extra duties over it.....

IMF and World bank is holding their meetings in Singapore, at Suntec, in case you are not aware of it. Its a high profile meeting, with 16,000 delegates from over 180 countries.

In fact, its higher profile than our biggest birthday party, the NDP.

We are supposed to put on our best smiles for the overseas guest. In fact, the goverment had started a 4 million smiles campagin to train our facial muscles to smile broadly at our guest.

However, to have a lasting effect smiles that leaves a good deep impression on our guest, the goverment should invest 400 million on us. Nope, the money is not going into our pockets. The money should be used for dental appoinments first to whiten our teeth, to patch our teeth.

Imagine you are a foreign delegate, and an toothless Ah pek smile broadly at you.

Or you see an young sweet skirt smiling at you, but you noticed her caffine stained teeth, and on closer inspection, you can see bits of the see hum between her teeth after she had ate mee siam.

Our Police force has also done many things for this IMF-World bank meetings. For the comfort of the protesters, they had shifted the area to protest indoors, in a air-conditioned enviroment. What i don't understand is that a lot of ppl are arguing over it.

I mean, Singapore weather is hot and humid. Imagine hundreds of ppl protesting, crowded together, someone's goanna faint, or even worst, kena heat stroke. Then, the medical personnal will be dispatch to those protesters, instead of standing by for the delegates.

Police will also ban the protesters from bring in their own items (wooden placecards and metal poles). Instead, they will be providing paper cardboard and paper poles. This is to ensure that the metal poles will not be used to "hamtam" ppl when "kua simi" incident happens.

Lastly, the police also restricted the roads around the convention center.

This cause quite a number of problems.

1) Motorists face extra ERP charge if they head to Suntec.
LTA reply : LTA says motorists can choose to park outside the Suntec area and walk over, or take public transport instead - all to avoid the double ERP charge while staying within the Restricted Zone.

2) Taxis in short supply at Suntec area as cabbies avoid the place.

Other problems happened also...

1) Limousine drivers worst hit by slow trickle of delegates arriving for meetings

2) Sluggish sales for Suntec City Mall tenants since Sunday


IMF does cause some problems, ain't it?

But think of the other side. We are host to 16,000 delegates. ITs time we showcase our delicious foods to the delegates which most may never taste or heard before.

Food like " Hainan Chicken Rice, Satay, Chilli Crab', and the best of all...

'Mee Siam Mai Hum"

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