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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 11 March, 2003, 10:04 GMT
Singapore looking for fun
Singapore skyline
Singapore wants more sparkle
One week after Singapore indicated that bars may soon be open all night long, a lawmaker has urged the city state's youth to suggest how Singapore can shed its boring image.

Vivian Balakrishnan, chairman of the government-appointed Remaking Singapore committee, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying: "We need to reach deep inside ourselves to find out what turns us on."

The government wants to transform Singapore into a lively artistic centre.

A public advisory board has already recommended that bars stay open around the clock and that the government ease restrictions on dancing in bars.

Boredom is very corrosive to the human spirit
Vivian Balakrishnan, chairman of Remaking Singapore committee
Mr Balakrishnan, minister of state for national development, on Tuesday urged Singapore's youth to take part in a government-organised street festival in June.

"Some people feel that Singapore is a boring place. We need to correct this, because boredom is very corrosive to the human spirit," he added.

Singapore has other reasons for seeking an image change. Struggling with a recession, it would welcome more tourists.

The state is also trying to boost its birth rate. Last month, to coincide with Valentine's Day, the Singaporean Government launched a campaign to get Singaporeans in the mood, complete with tips for dating.

To this end, the Straits Times newspaper reported last week that the government was likely to accept recommendations that bars stay open for 24 hours and that restrictions on dancing in bars are eased.

Most bars and night clubs currently close at 0300 and dancing is confined to a dance floor at least one metre high and away from tables and chairs.

Next month, the government is also set to unveil the first review of its infamously fierce censorship laws in 10 years.

Racy scenes are currently cut from movies. The magazines Cosmopolitan and Playboy and the US television sitcom Sex and the City are also banned.

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