The squatter farms bounded by former KTM railway tracks, Sungei Ulu Pandan canal and Clementi Avenues 4 and 6 yielded jackfruit, melons, bittergourd, chilli, sweet potatos and fish, a gotong-royong type enterprise that had gone on unperturbed for years. Until a spoilsport made a complaint about leaves being burnt at the plot. SLA promptly slapped eviction orders on the illegal sheds and structures, giving March 20 as the date line to cease and desist agricultural operations.
We are firmly reminded that under the State Lands Encroachment Act, it is an offence to unlawfully use the land by erecting buildings, cultivating, enclosing, clearing or residing at any part of it. Ms Poh, writing as SLA Head of Corporate Corporations, also alleged that "some individuals have not only encroached on state land for their private purposes, but several have also fenced up parcels of land as their own and padlocked them for their exclusive use." Apparently several ponds with stagnant water were also found, which means NEA can also be roped in to jointly prosecute the wanton law breakers for mosquito breeding.
Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP Sim Ann has called on those who have been using the 1,800 square metres site to come forward "so their views can be heard." So far, the owner of the fenced up vegetable patch has identified himself, one of those trusting souls who probably still believes compassion is not yet dead. The invite would be more assuring if the proposed discussions serve to explore the building of elder-care centres in idyllic Garden of Eden environs, complete with gardening and horticultural opportunities, until authorities firm up their profit generation plans for the vacant state land. Instead of locating them in built-up areas like Woodlands and Toh Yi.