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World Bank official urges Singapore to relax social controls
uusjio | May 20, 2008 at 08:48 pmby
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The city-state, Southeast Asia's richest economy, is seen by many developing countries as a model of economic progress but it also has its critics who point out its restricted press freedom and political expression.
"Singapore has made a monumental contribution to the field of development, Juan Jose Daboub, the Bank's managing director, said at a public lecture.
But he said a question confronting its leaders is "whether it is ready to face the challenges of implementing cutting-edge reforms needed to further improve its position in the competitive global environment."
He added: "One such challenge is the tricky task of balancing a desire for social order and stability -- for many years a defining quality of Singapore's growth -- with a need to allow more innovation and creativity to produce high-value goods and services in a more competitive global economy."
Singapore is often criticised for its strict laws that stunt press freedom and political expression, while engaging in "social engineering" programmes such as state-run dating services limited to university graduates.
It has been ruled by the same party for almost ...