It was not so many years ago when our Taiwan agent told us about his Singaporean visitor sight-seeing at Huaxi Street Night Market (Chinese: 華西街夜市; Hwahsi Jie), and looking for a trash bin to dump his sweet wrapper. It was a fruitless endeavor in the streets of Taipei and, according to the admiring Taiwanese, our compatriot finally kept it in his pocket until he could deposit it at the litter basket of his hotel room.
Then there was the experience of visiting North Western University campus for the first time, and discovering that the walkways were so clean that you could literally eat off the pavement. Suddenly it dawned that when the Ang Mohs waxed lyrical about Singapore being so clean and green, they actually meant it was cleaner than expected, compared to the congested Asian capitals of Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur or Manila. Quite obviously, sparsely populated suburban areas are less polluted by the human debris associated with overcrowded cities. The "windy city" of Chicago had natural elements to sweep the pathways clear, not cleaners from Bangladesh.
At the CGS Carnival at The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay, Tharman repeated the recent NEA survey claim that about one-third of Singaporeans said they would litter if they can get away with it. This could have been the same survey that was quoted to justify MP (Nee Soon GRC) Lee Bee Wah's Facebook rant, “Can we use the strength and power of the 60% good Singaporeans and residents who do not litter to put pressure and change the bad habit of the other 40% litterbugs?” Except that the percentage had been tweaked to blunt the innuendo, what Chinese would term "There is bones in her speech".
With so many foreign elements crowding out our law abiding citizens, most of whom have put in two years of military service to ensure our property is protected, are the wagging fingers pointed in the right direction? Maybe the vigilantes proposed by Vivian Balakrishnan should be unleashed, just to clear the air about recalcitrant litterbugs. Some of whom may not have acted intentionally to dirty the living space, but to spite the authorities for mismanagement in the first place.