Advice from a friend

Peter Schwartz — respected futurist and scenario thinker — travels to Singapore fairly often. He’s been a long-time adviser to the civil service here too.

DESPITE its many technological and scientific accomplishments, Singapore still suffers from a major image problem, said Mr Peter Schwartz, co-founder and chairman of the Global Business Network.

“People in the industrialised world don’t know very much about Singapore other than the trivial and the silly stuff like the banning of chewing gum and your homosexual laws,” said Mr Schwartz, 61, a key adviser to businesses and governments around the world.

And yet, this detracted from the profound achievements of Singapore over the last 40 years, he said. Singaporeans were, he observed, more tolerant of gays than what the law allows and the reputation of the country would be hugely enhanced if there was, for example, more room for dissent.

From TODAY, 11th October 2007

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