Probe deeper into the underlying problems in neighbour disputes
I could not help wonder if there are more underlying problems in the neighbour dispute which has surfaced in Jurong West (“Ugly Jurong West neighbour”; TNP, Oct 8).
Living in high rise flats with close proximity, coupled with long and draining work schedules can sometimes affect our tolerance levels – more so when our stress levels are shooting up. As I follow the neighbour disputes that are taking place in the heartlands periodically, I am concerened that there could be more than meets the eye.
Madam Ng Wai Leng would wake up and find cigarette butts and faeces thrown into her flat, and she and her two children have been on the receiving end of insults in Hokkein by Madam Soh. Madam Ng feels that the ugly behaviour on the part of Madam Soh – captured on camera, started when the neighbour got agitated when Madam Ng asked her about her missing pair of slippers.
Other neighbours, such as Madam Nur who lives below the disputing familes mentioned that fights and guarrels in the middle of the night in Madam Soh’s flat were common. According to Madam Ng, her neighbour would swing curses at her husband when he stepped out of their flat because she opined that he was “making noise.”
The HDB who has investigated the disputes must probe deeper into these kinds of disputes as there could be more underlying problems when neighbours display such unsocial behaviour. Perhaps, stress could be taking control of their lives.
It is therefore imperative that the Law Ministry, the HDB, the Police, the Peoples Assocation, the grassroots leaders, the Family Service Centres and the Ministry of Health work closely together to address and find quick solutions to neighbour disputes.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO