16 June 2008

Why only 'practical NGOs' and for economic reasons?

The government boasts that Singapore is attracting more non-profits and non-governmental organisations to locate in Singapore. Speaks of economic spin-offs, confident that there'll be no risk of activism. Vinita Ramani finds such an attitude appalling. Guest essay.


Ned Stark said...

Singapore appears to have placed practicality on a pedestal; converted it into some kind of religion. While practicality is good in itself, it needs be complemented with ideology. Someone once told me that ideology moves society forward while pragmatism makes society work. Unfortunately Singaporeans generally tend to take a dim view of ideals, being quick to declare them as principles of western liberalism.

Readymade said...

EDB's betting that the prestigious, economic-related and charity-based "NGOs" want a different kind of environment from the passionate, civil society ones.

Which may be the case. As Ramani points out, the kinds of "NGOs" EDB wants to attract are more akin to commercial-minded MNCs. Don't mind the doublethink - it's really just business as usual for EDB and the S'pore govt.