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Beware the unintended consequences of bans

Bans deprive individuals of the right to choose and are costly to enforce. And if enforcement is lax, it makes a mockery of the law and erodes trust in public institutions.

When a "fine" city can go too far. As a rule, bans are usually a myopic and narrow response to an externalities problem.

PRAGMATISM has long been the hallmark of the Singapore government. The government prides itself on being devoid of ideology, and on being highly responsive and adaptive: when the facts change, policies soon follow to reflect new realities. Most times, the government also makes policies on the...

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