Monday, December 31, 2018

Noise pollution in Singapore needs a complete review: An open proposal to the Singapore Government : By Raymond Anthony Fernando

Noise pollution in Singapore needs a complete review: An open proposal to the Singapore Government  


It is most disturbing that our seniors have to end up taking refuge in fast food restaurant like McDonalds to escape from the noise created by inconsiderate neighbours in The Sunday Times report, “Singapore Mcrefugees”; September 11,2016”.


 I full empathize with these seniors who after working for decades and most probably have to deal with health issues cannot get some peace and quiet in their own homes.


In a most recent case, a 61-year-old woman who was captured on a video attacking her neighbour’s flat with a chopper and subsequently tasered by the police, was arrested in the wee hours of Christmas day. The elderly woman in question had gone to her neighbour’s flat at Blk 157 Serangoon North Avenue 1 to complain about the noise level, which led to the neighbour calling the police.


In the US alone, it is estimated that 100 million people are exposed to unhealthy levels of noise, typically from automobile and aircraft traffic.


Noise pollution is an often-overlooked source of environmental stress that can raise your risk of serious health conditions, including mental illness and even heart disease.  With noise polluting the environment from construction everywhere you travel in Singapore, including the irritating noise from leaf blowers, it is little wonder that the number of patients at the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) units and heart centres in hospitals are on the rise.


Travel along Orchard Road and the loud music and promotions from giant TV screens will deafen your ears.  Then you try to relax your mind at a local cinema and again, the noise from the theatre will just turn you off.


Why can’t the volume in cinemas be put at a reasonable level?


Why can’t the speed on the leaf blowers be lowered so that the noise does not disrupt the peace and quiet which residents in the neighbourhood need?  School children need to study, so in what way is the excessive noise generated from these leaf blowers helping the students to concentrate on their studies in their own homes rather than have to make them travel to the library to do their homework or study for their examinations?


Even if you want to pray in church and find solace at this place of worship, it is difficult to do so as the leaf blowers are also hired by the church to clear the ground and drains after the grass is cut.


It is futile for the Ministry of Health (MOH) to constantly remind Singaporeans that it is our responsibility to take care of our health when the environment here is polluted everyday with noise, noise and more noise. 


The Ministry of Law is supposed to come up with laws to ensure that noise pollution is kept well under control. Therefore, it must work in tandem with MOH and the Environment Ministry to put a grinding halt to noise pollution, or least manage noise to an acceptable standard.


Raymond Anthony Fernando



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