SINGAPORE -- Rallying cries rarely heard in Singapore carried across the lush green lawn of Hong Lim Park in early March. About 100 people had gathered under an occasional drizzle to protest a planned increase in the goods and services tax. "The government is overspending on infrastructure!" one demonstrator yelled.
Speaking one's mind in the city-state requires a certain amount of nerve. "Failure to comply with detailed restrictions on what can be said and who can participate in public gatherings frequently results in police investigations," according to Human Rights Watch. Hong Lim Park is the only place where public demonstrations are tolerated.