Thursday, December 25, 2014

Public Health Concerns Unaddressed

South West District problem migrated to Bukit Batok
Call it the Christmas Eve discount. Yesterday, the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) was fined $800 for allegedly holding a festive trade fair without a permit, instead of the maximum $1,000.

District Judge Victor Yeo ruled that Section 35 of the Environmental Public Health Act created a strict liability offence, and therefore Section 18 of the Town Councils Act did not obviate the need for the town council to obtain a permit. Sounds remarkably like cherry picking the laws of the land to suit the flow of the tide. Second guessing the sentiments of the dominant political party in force, he speculated that it could not have been Parliament's intention for town councils to be exempted from the licensing laws of the land. Why not put the question to Parliament?

Gloating on the Pyrrhic victory the National Environment Agency (NEA) quickly made the statement: "NEA requires temporary fair operators to have a licence to ensure that public health concerns and disamenities arising from temporary fairs such as food hygiene, waste management and noise nuisance are addressed."

The same NEA seems to be oblivious to the "public health concerns" and "food hygiene, waste management and noise nuisance" at Bukit Batok, where rats squeak and stray dogs bark. And they ain't exactly singing "Silent Night, Holy Night". Apparently Channel NewsAsia did telephone them for a comment, and was told the area concerned was state land under the jurisdiction of the Housing and Development Board (HDB). HDB said to wait for their statement on the ratfinks.

Recall how Lee Hsien Loong narrated the story of the fishball stick problem faced by Mayor of South West District Low Yen Ying. Ms Low found that a slope on the left of the walkway is overseen by the National Environment Agency (NEA). In the middle, is a park connector under supervision of NParks, while the pavement close to the road is the responsibility of LTA. In his infinite wisdom, Lee assigned Grace Fu the pao-ka-liao role of intermediary for the various government agencies practising tai-chi. After announcing her new Municipal Services Office (MSO) was open for business on 1 October, the disgraceful Minister in the Prime Minister's Office has gone the way of Desmond Lee, quiet as a mouse.

No wonder the district judge didn't bother to take it all the way to Parliament House. Nobody seems to listen to the prime minister these days.


  1. With everything in such a fine mess, it is time for the PM to put another layer to his kueh lapis administration and put another idle Minister in charge. By the way where is Bala?

  2. Yes, we need another stat board to oversee the MSO. And another minister in the prime minister office to coordinate this new stat board. But I suspect the main reason is the ultra low pay of the ministers - hence the inability to attract real talent who can solve problems. What do you think?

  3. Any heads rolled? Under this Administration, highly unlikely. The Minister is so busy fixing the WP that he is oblivious to 200 rats or more scurrying around his backyard. Now, the WP have to thank the rats, otherwise "...I will spend all my time, I have to spend all my time thinking of what is the right way to fix them.."

  4. Merry Christmas Singaporedesk. Thank you for writing down your thoughts and sharing them with us. Best Wishes!

  5. If AHPETC was faulted for imaginary public health concerns, what are we going to do about the mosquitoes bleeding and rat infestation? I say FIRE the NEA director!

    1. Tuberculosis !
      FIRE who ???

    2. FIRE PAP lah!
      Vote them out in GE 2016.
      It's within our power.

  6. Previously before they lost Aljunied & Punggol to WP, the local regulations allow Town Councils to approve or allow fairs to be held. Then it seems overnight we were told they simply cancelled Town Council's right to approve their own fairs but must get approval from some other PAP Grassroots committee.

    Then again almost overnight the previous penalty of S$1000 was raised to S$10000 now. This along already can make one very suspicious of PAP's political motive.

    It seems PAP (or the old man?) is being a very sore loser especially when dealing with Aljunied residents until a small mini fair they also want to find every fault.

    If you are a Aljunied resident, do you feel PAP was acting like a big bully and vote them back in the next election ?

    1. They have never lied or camouflaged their politcal ploys.

      Indeed they have stated very clearly that within parliamentary seats, is where the battle for votes resides.

      Each town council is a de facto political entity, and since they are in control, they will create and design and tailor each rule, law, to ensure that their own town council survives.

      They may be caught and appear to be wrong footed... but they certainly are no idiots or fools.
      Shame or embarrassment is unheard of.
      Remember the "thick hide "remark?

  7. Blaming the stray dog feeders for the shocking rat population on Bukit Batok hill instead of the Town Council in charge of the hygiene conditions at the F&B outlets near the hill was really a low down act.

    Because they refused to take accountability, they have proven they don't deserve the honor of managing the GRC.

    1. And heaven knows when to come to the aid of WP?