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Opinion

Beemer mishaps fail to dent IMF conference

IMF: Singapore welcomes the right sort of people

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With the aid of a noose-like security cordon of fearsome purpose tied around the conference venues, Singapore’s government ensured that the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in September passed off without serious incident. An early ill-tempered exchange between the government and the World Bank top brass over exactly who had and had not been accredited to attend from the legions of civil society organizations seemed to be forgotten as delegates breezed effortlessly through the spotless corridors of the main Suntec City conference venue. Even the special roped-off area set aside for those determined enough to demonstrate, curiously enough next to the Starbucks in the main lobby, drew few takers.

As the spectacular pyrotechnic display to mark the end of the conference drew to a close, the conference seemed to have progressed as smoothly as the smoke from the last fireworks drifting slowly across Marina Bay.

But not exactly, according to a person close to the organizing committee. Several of the drivers hired to chauffeur VIP delegates between venues apparently struggled to master the sizeable BMW limousines ordered especially for the event.

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