• Reuters


At breakfast time one day last week, K. Shanmugam, a Singapore government minister, dropped in to a bustling food court to greet voters, listen to their grumbles and urge them to back the People’s Action Party (PAP) in this Friday’s general election.

There was a burst of applause from a table of tea-drinking men, old ladies looked up smilingly from bowls of noodle soup, and one of the sharpest complaints he heard was from a resident about pigeons roosting outside her house.

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