Friday, September 14, 2012

Letter to the press: Govt agencies can be good neighbours, too

My letter to MediaCorp's TODAY newspaper is published today, Friday 14th September 2012.

The proposal of a legal framework to deal with disputes between neighbours is timely.

Where there are shared amenities, such as common corridors, enforcement should be taken against those who insist on cluttering them with potted plants, furniture and other bulky items, which pose a danger during emergencies such as a fire.

There is also a need to ensure that noise pollution is kept under control, which can adversely affect our health.

Good neighbourliness is everybody's business. Government agencies, too, must do their part to ensure that we live in a conducive environment.

Where renovation work is being done in an estate, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) should inform residents so that those affected can find alternative accommodation or plan their schedule accordingly.

I live in Ang Mo Kio, where hacking often takes place simultaneously in my block and the one opposite. I have suggested to the HDB that a notice be placed at the lift landings of the affected blocks, but no action has been taken.

Elderly residents need rest, and children have to study. Moreover, there are childcare centres in many HDB blocks. We should not subject children to excessive, unhealthy noise.

At Block 584, where a childcare centre is housed, lift upgrading is scheduled to commence this month. Flats are also going to be built at the car park now in front of the centre. It would not be fair to subject the children to extended noise pollution.

There must be some arrangements to temporarily relocate the centre to a nearby site. Let us not risk the children and staff having health issues in future, especially when medical costs are far from cheap.

Raymond Anthony Fernando

Replies I received.
(1) Dear Mr Fernando,

Thank you for your email. NEA will review the situation with the other relevant agencies and take the necessary action.
Best wishes,
Dr Vivian Balakrishan
Envoirment Minister

(2) Dear Raymond

Thanks for speaking up against noise pollution – and this time even for our childcare branch at Ang Mo Kio block 584.  

Kudos for your public consciousness.  Hope you and Doris are okay – haven’t seen you in a while (except in print)!

God bless

Ms Phyllis Tan



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