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Using stories to communicate - the Singapore casino decision

Around a year ago, the Singapore government initiated a discussion with its citizens on whether or not to open casinos in the country. A strong debate ensued where the focus was mainly on the social ills associated with casinos. The government, however, wanted them to consider the facts of not opening a casino, and to trigger these thoughts they came up with a fable:

Forty years ago, Siamese twins were born. One of the twins is Economy, Singapore Economy. The other twin is Society, Singapore Society. One mind enhances Singapore's competitiveness, the other, its cohesiveness. As they share one heart, if Economy doesn't survive, Society also can't survive and vice versa. One day, Economy said, "If I go on like this, I may suffer a problem." Society asked, "What's the problem? You're not going to die tomorrow. Economy explained he was trying to exercise every day but the competition was getting intense and he may not have much stamina left in five to 10 years. So, he saw a doctor who could provide a medicine which would give Economy the impetus to gain strength for the next five years. Economy was worried, as the medicine would have side effects for Society. But Society said: "In the long run, if you are finished, I am finished. So, take the medicine and I will take my own preventive medicine."

The final decision, made last Wednesday, went in favor of opening the casinos (don't know what impact the fable had on the decision). Come 2009, Singapore will have two integrated resorts with casinos designed to exceed those found in Las Vegas and Macau. More on the casino decision here.

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