Wednesday, October 31, 2012

View issues raised by Singaporeans as feedback, not complaints

In his letter “Void decks (and complaining) are uniquely Singaporean” (The New Paper, Oct 22), reader Wee Hong Giap opined that void decks are a good space to foster community spirit and that Singaporeans complain too much.

First of all, when Singaporeans raised issues that affect their daily living and environment, it must not be viewed as complaints, but rather as feedback. Feedback that can help improve the lives of all our citizens.

Let us not forget that more than 80 per cent of our citizens live in HDB flats and our homes must be a place when we can return to after a hard day’s work to rest and get respite. Children need to study, the elderly sick need to rest.  

While activities such as wedding celebrations can help foster community bonding, void decks should not be used for anything and everything.

In my place, where I live, practically every other month, there is renovation work going on opposite my block or at my block.  And these renovation works can last a month.

Then there are wakes and clan associations that use void decks and basket ball courts that has disrupted the peace and quiet which residents guard so jealousy these days.  And I can tell you that these noise pollutions can sometime take place 7 days a week.

A lady friend of mine who lives near my block told me that because of the smoke that was pouring out from the incense that was being burnt at these clan association activities, she fell sick and had to be hospitalized.

There is a definite need to control excessive noise in the heartlands, and I’d like to make the following suggestions, which I hope the Government will seriously consider for implementation:

 (a) Have funeral wakes and wedding celebration in enclosed areas. For example, build multi-storey funeral parlors similar to the ones at the Singapore Casket Company, and allow wedding celebrations to be held at Community Centres to which affordable prices can be charged.

(b) As double-glazed windows can help to reduce noise levels significantly, HDB can offer this option to citizens applying for flats. It cost less than $1,000 to install this in a room.

( c ) The renovation noise in HDB flats can be unbearable even with ear plugs or installation of double-glazed windows.  Hence, it may be necessary to restrict these renovation works up to 2pm on weekdays with none carried out on weekends and public holidays.



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