We need another 1,000 police officers?

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The Commissioner of Police (CP) Ng Joo Hee has made some very interesting comments at the on going Commission of Inquiry (COI). “1,000 more officers are needed to boost the force.” He also touches on the “powder keg” Geylang. There are far too many implications from the two comments. As responsible citizens, we ought to be concerned.

When CP says that we need an extra of 1,000 police officers to boost the police force, I wonder what sort of police officers he is referring to? Definitely not those auxiliary police officers outsourced to desperate cheap labourers from neighboring countries when they simply came here for the better wages and using the law as a pretext in its high handed approach to tekan locals. 1,000 new recruits in the Special Ops Command (SOC) or in the Land Divisions or simply just manning those police posts in HDB estates? What sort of extra 1,000 police officers? All with diplomas or university degrees and wearing the Sgt rank on the first day of police work? Veterans always opined that ranks have to be earned the hard way and never given freely losing its intrinsic value.

I still remember vividly what one Chinese gangster used to tell me years ago. According to him, there are 3 types of police officers in our SPF. The NS senior officers, “study” or scholar senior officers and the hardened rank and file senior officers. He feared the last category. He was not afraid of the first two types where according to him he could easily put them in his pocket! This is uniquely Singapore.

What sort of 1,000 extra police officers do we need? Paper pushers or those who could perform on their jobs? In short, it is the quality and not the quantity that counts. In his own admission, CP says, “Over the years, we have strived to keep our force small, while constantly creating new capabilities through deploying better technology, outsourcing and by co-creating with the community. Even though, we frequently rob Peter to pay Paul, as was the case when we kept reducing the size of our anti-riot troopers to fund other capabilities.” I read it with a tinge of sadness and dismay.

Knowing that we have got more than 2 million foreigners here, yet they have reduced the size of anti-riot troopers instead of expanding them? Prior to the Little India riot, one could observe the huge mass of humanity moving in countless waves in Little India – not to mention the Geylang or Beach Road Golden Mile areas where foreigners congregate during the weekends to while away their time. Common sense tells us that if there is trouble, it could be very ugly. Until that Little India incident with all revelations coming out in the open, then only the focus is shifted to this time bomb. CP seems to say that the Little India riot is not as serious as the powder keg explosive in Geylang. Is he seizing this opportunity to highlight the manpower issue he’s facing so that he could have more budget for more men to handle public order maintenance?

The next question to ask is whether we need an extra 1,000 troopers or street walking police officers? Who is performing the actual police job? The blue knight walking the beats or those highly paid police scholars sitting in their ivory towers putting up more power points slide presentations to impress the gods? That is the question.

When I joined the police force in1983 with full A level qualification, I had to start off as a police constable. After 7 years, I got my corporal rank. Another 3 years of hell in investigation before I was given the Sgt rank. Today, the ranks are given freely as if it’s lelong sale in a pasar malam. When I had my recent encounter with the young police Sgt and a corporal, I had a hard time telling them that I could write a better statement rather than him recording my statement. But they refused and accused me of interfering in their police investigation! What a langgar situation. My respect for those newly minted police officers is lost. Not sure and lacking in confidence in their job area. Didn’t ask penetrating questions. Just treated it another case to be filed away. Are we paying top dollar for such officer without any sense of passion in their job?

Like what CP says, he is more worried about our red light district in Geylang rather than the 500 over rioters in Little India. Cities all over the world do have their own versions of Geylang. In fact, they are even notorious than our Geylang. Remember, they carry firearms and consumed all kinds of drugs like nobody’s business! They can’t simply ban alcohol the very next day like we did! link and link Could those police officers with easily acquired ranks handle another riot in Geylang? If it ever happened in Geylang, it’s not going to be Indians only. Lots of locals and many other nationalities hang around there. The lure of the nectar coated hidden valley is simply irresistible. Look at the Little India riot, every police officer was waiting for instruction to act despite the fact there there was total loss of communication according to what is revealed. The walkie talkies were not functioning yet they were still waiting for further instructions. If everything is based on instructions from the top and higher ups, do we need very educated police officers with ranks to do a simple ground job of containing a riot situation? SOPs are clearly spelt for necessary action for that sort of scenario yet everybody waiting for somebody until nobody is doing anything at all.

Next, to outsource so many police functions to auxiliary police is a disaster. It is only a matter of time before another time bomb explodes. Those auxiliary police officers from neighboring countries are here to make a living. They are not here to serve with altruistic ideals or out of patriotism! As it is, it’s already happening at our Causeway Checkpoint with so many cases of slipping through the security barriers and officers right in front of their noses. Remember that guy who just walked across and subsequently came back to surrender where he was hang for murdering a small girl? What about our most wanted lipping terrorist able to just swim across the waterway divide? Invested so much money on the barriers but they did not work when needed? Failing to stop breeches of security as in the case of the mentally impaired lady driving her car into our country. Do I need to quote some more to prove my point? Yes, our borders and some vital installations are outsourced to auxiliary police officers to the detriment of our national security.

When the traffic offenses such as illegal parking are outsourced to them, they really use the powers given to them to the maximum terrorizing all those locals living in the neighborhoods. When I was visiting complaint file of illegal parking especially in front of coffee-shops, we switched on the blinkers to warn illegal parking motorists to move away their vehicles. Sometimes, we even used the siren to show them our presence. We used scare crow methods to chase them away. Until no choice, then only enforcement action against illegal parking is taken. Cuz as locals, we empathize with those motorists. Do those LTA enforcement officers or auxiliary officers ever give you any chance at all? I’m sure many readers got their horror stories to tell of their highhandedness and merrily issuing summons or snapping pictures of your vehicles like no tomorrow?

According to my experience, not many could become police officers. Stringent screening need to be done before he’s recruited. I still remember how as recruits, we were really treated like “dogs” in Police Academy. We were screamed at for the slightest mistakes and abused verbally for not able to march with perfection by our kwalan Drill Instructors ( they did not have any rank. Only police constable or PC). This is to train us to meet the ever demanding public after passing out as qualified police officers to perform our duty. Be prepared to be abused and shouted at by the public when you put on the blue uniform. When I was a new I.O., I was also made to type a simple memo more than 10 times all over and all over again by my C.I.O. (Chief Investigation Officer) after my 24 hour tour of duty just to get it perfect. In those days, there was no computer. We used a manual type writer which I still remember is the Adler brand supplied by the force. Only those stay behind and take the whatever shit thrown at them will emerge with a much stronger tenacious character. Today, my peers in that era have progressed to hold many senior positions within the force.

I strongly feel that there is a need to re-look at the entire police organization. There is a need to commission a task force to study and really examine into the force structure and its organization. The little India incident has blatantly demonstrated our current state of police force. Do we still ignore all those symptoms and allow them to fester? To just ignore those weaknesses will lead to even more powder kegs exploding in the near future. The force itself is a huge time bomb waiting only to explode if we do not take drastic decisive measures now. Expand the anti-riot troopers with better equipment and more focus training without the need for higher paper qualifications is the first step towards a more professional resilient force.

Read related article here.
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Posted in Langgar | 21 Comments

Who is the biggest mosquito breeder in Singapore?

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I’m now having an animated conversation with “caveman” at Elias Mall. Knowing that today is my off day, he purposely came down to EM to look for me. He wanted to let me know that he got some mosquito issues with NEA. He insisted that I should blog about it.

Some background info about caveman. He is an unique character. I know him thru Encik. They belong to a group of pioneer Penang boys who came to Singapore to join the Air Force in the 1970s. People like them helped to build up our current formidable and deadly Air Defense system. Encik served the RSAF for more than 35 yrs until his retirement about 5 years ago, whereas caveman left after few yrs to pursue other jobs. He became an entrepreneur and ever owned a factory in Indonesia with vast working experiences in China and Hong Kong for many years. He is illiterate in Chinese. He used to lament that if only he could read and write Chinese, he could be a billionaire! He made his fortune in his younger days and having acquired 2 landed properties, he is now semi-retired driving his Mercedes E220 around with lots of free time. He is always seen carrying a small toothbrush in his pocket. He reminds me of Lee Child’s character Jack Reacher who also happens to carry only a toothbrush in his pocket – the tough no nonsense weird but brilliant character. Click here to read about Jack Reacher. From 3 miles away, one could spot him with his golden flipping flying golden hair and walk with a giant swaggering gait. He is also a great supporter of this government and its liberal foreigner policy. I’ll blog about it other time.

Let’s look at his latest problem with NEA. He’s living in the Kovan area in a landed property. On 8 Jan, He got a memo from NEA accusing him of breeding mosquitoes on his dust bin which is supplied by SemCorp. The typical green color plastic dust bin placed outside each house. The dust bin was inverted. NEA claimed that there was mosquito breeding when it’s invereted – presumably at the perimeter of the dust bin cover where water is collected. Recently, he got another memo instructing him to attend court or pay a fine. He is jumping furious mad now.

Caveman says that he did not buy the dust bin. It’s supplied by SemCorp. He’s paying the monthly conservancy charge for it. If it breeds mosquitoes when it’s inverted, whose fault? To invert the dust bin is to prevent mosquito breeding and if it doesn’t then whose fault? Obviously, there is a design defect in the product which he should not be held accountable says he. What about if it is in normal position where rubbish is collected? Will it breed mosquitoes also?

From his description, I find it rather amusing. Now caveman is saying that no wonder Singapore has got mosquitoes all over the place cuz of the design defect on those SembCorp bins distributed to households. NEA is targeting at innocent households as scapegoats which he feels is very unfair! Instead of looking at the design defect and whacking SembCorp, they are taking the soft option of targeting innocent residents. NEA simply throw summons to helpless households threatening them either to pay up or go to court. They are typical civil servants bullying innocent helpless residents. Those sitting up there with fat salaries are always clever at looking for soft targets. Caveman was suggesting that perhaps holes need to drill on them to prevent water retention but they did not bother to investigate and solve the problem. Just issue summons and hopefully the problem ends there.

Caveman is really furious at the unjust treatment received on his ends. He also claims that he does not wish mosquito breeding in the vicinity cuz his own safety and family’s health will be in endanger if there is dengue epidemic. Even though he is trying to explain the problem to NEA the root cause, they refused to listen to his explanation and pleas. In short, they are deaf frogs refusing to accept feedback to the problem. He is wondering what sort of bureaucratic high handedness he is langgaring here!

Caveman is now wondering what course of action he could take. Maybe, he will have to report to the police alleging that SemCorp by supplying those defective design bins are the perpetrators of massive mosquito breeding in the whole of Singapore! He believes those foreigners employed by SemCorp are the actual culprits inverting the bins after they’ve cleared the rubbish. Who would listen to a lone voice like caveman when deaf frogs occupying positions of authority do not empathize with commoners like him?

26 March 2014

NEA-2014-03-012760

Dear Caveman,

APPEAL FOR WITHDRAWAL OF INTENDED SUMMARY ACTION FOR MOSQUITO BREEDING OFFENCE

I refer to your appeal dated 13 March 2014 on the above-mentioned subject.

Our officers inspected your home and others in the neighbourhood on 8 January 2014 because of reported dengue cases in your estate. The purpose of the inspections is to remove mosquito breeding sources to prevent more dengue cases from arising. During the inspection, our officers found Aedes mosquitoes breeding in an inverted recycle bin outside your premises.

The Public Waste Collector (PWC) has previously distributed recycling bins to all premises in your neighbourhood at the start of the PWC contract. Thereafter, the responsibility of the bins’ maintenance comes under the residents who are issued with these bins. As such, residents are to ensure that the bins are kept free of mosquito breeding.

We have considered your appeal but are unable to withdraw the intended enforcement action for the mosquito breeding offence.

The Notice To Attend Court (NTAC), with an offer to compound this offence, will be served to you. Notwithstanding the enforcement action, please ensure that the conditions of the premises are not favourable to the propagation and harbouring of vectors at all times.

Please contact Ms N of our North East Regional Office at 6554 5733 between 2pm and 5pm on weekdays should you require further clarification. Alternatively, you can call the NEA Contact Centre at 1800 2255 632 or email to Contact_NEA@nea.gov.sg.

Yours sincerely,

S P
for Director
Environmental Health Department

Dear Sir

It seems you that you guys want to play around with your jobs and not interested to investigate any further.

The whole of Singapore will know of this within few days/hours how incompetent our NEA has become since you sign off at the director level.

I am a law abiding 60 year old jobless citizen since my return from China in 2008. I have the time and resources to help bring about lesser mosquitoes environment in Singapore yet you top civil servants don’t bother even to listen.

Dear Sir,

Subject : Your men inverting rubbish dump at my premises

Your attention is drawn to the letter from NEA to me that mosquito was found breeding at the inverted rubbish bin outside my house.

Please note that your refuse collection team sometimes invert dustbin after they have extracted the refuse. To NEA the inverting of bins can breed mosquito at the handle part as water can collect on it for which I was not aware of it. Please inform your team to put back bins vertically after extracting the refuse. As a residents we cannot be 365 days looking after the defective bins as we can be overseas too. I suggest you drill holes at the handles if your men wants to invert it for reasons known to them so as to allow water to flow out to the ground during rainy days.

Thank you.

Subject: Nero/ALJ/14/140 Mosquito breeding

From: Caveman

To: contact_nea@nea.gov.sg

Ref your letter 10 Mar 2014.

I did received the notification slip that described an overturned dustbin outside my house was breeding mosquito. I have SMS to that notification slip on the same day to a number stated on the slip a Malay name officer, that Semb Corp rubbish collection team is the one that over turn the dustbin randomly and as such if it breeds mosquitoes I have to return all the dustbins back to Semb Corp and get my money refunded as the design of it is wrong as I should not collect water when inverted.

Subsequently, before cny another Chinese man and after cny two more visits by nea officials was sent to inspect our premises and has no complaints.

This is a long forgotten matter what is the purpose of bringing up this matter. However, if you want to take enforcement action it will be passed on to Semb Corp as they are the ones handling the dustbins, which ones is mine or my neighbours I don’t know. I sometimes go overseas how I am to be responsible for the overturned rubbish bins.

Thank you.

Please note I also made a telephone call to your office and placed my mobile number with your reception today 4.30

Profile of Caveman

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PS: Caveman says that he’s willing to be interviewed and he’ll stand by what he said.

Latest update from Caveman …

Dear Sir

This is NOT a letter of appeal. It is to inform you we can work together as the evidence against your department is overwhelming.

There are 4 vital points pointing towards failure in your part.

1. Knowingly issued defective bins. If you don’t know how am I a layman to know? An inverted bin by your men means it is safe and not in use. Refer photos

2. Failure to warn users of defective bins and do nothing to correct the defect. See attached 2 photos taken today, of area around my home, ignorant residences maybe thinking they not using the bins or inverted by the collectors.

3. Inverting the bins after throwing the rubbish.

4. Skip few days without emptying the bins otherwise collector will notice bin is inverted and upright it.. no mosquitoes.

I will see my MP for this matter and take it to national level if we carry on like this. I have time, resources, and sense of duty to my fellow Singaporeans to see this to the highest and seek justice.

If I am 100% at fault normally I will pay and forget just like parking offence. Today I am so agitated because this problem starts on 8 Jan and I have not seen nor sign any admission of guilt. To date you send in so many manhours into my house and find nothing for a problem not created by me but solution is found outside on the streets.

Therefore I cannot be held accountable and will not pay even a cent to coverup somebody’s mistake as this will be tantamount to be your accomplice.

For me, I would like this matter come to rest quickily, and do the necessary to undo the dangerous potential created by the designer of this bin. To date I think deaths has occurred.

I love my Singapore.

Best regards
Caveman

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Photos taken near Caveman’s place.

Posted in Langgar | 12 Comments

My traumatic encounter with a foreign barbarian!

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It’s been quite a while since my last blog entry here. I was busy learning the taxi trade the hard way thru trial and error. From 24 Feb onwards, I started driving taxi full swing. Before that, it was on and off for only 4 hours taking a part of Alan Taxi’s (AT) shift trying to get a feel of it. I’m still under the intensive tutelage of AT. If there is any problem or I’m not sure of certain things, I would just call up AT to seek enlightenment. I use a bluetooth headset to talk whenever I’m driving.

I would say that so far it’s quite an enjoyable experience driving taxi meeting all kinds of people. It is a good decent honest living job specially reserved for citizens only. For that, I am very grateful to this government for not opening this taxi trade to PRs and foreigners. Most of us taxi drivers share my view. But then in life, sometimes making an honest decent living can be a challenge. Allow me to elaborate what happened to me last night. It nearly cost me my life if not for the cool and calm manner I had maintained throughout the nearly 10 min ordeal I had endured with a foreign barbarian!

I started my shift yesterday from about 1500 hrs and supposed to end by 0300 hrs the next day. I’m relieving my fren Siong who is currently on a 5-day tour in China. He is also a relief driver. I only pay $30 for the 12-hour shift. He is paying the balance $20 for the $50 taxi daily rental(12 hr shift). On the 3rd day i.e. yesterday (19/3/14), I started my shift as per normal. I was happily picking up passengers all over the island. It was a good day and business was brisk.

After I had dropped off one Hong Konger off Pearls Centre along Eu Tong Seng Street, I proceeded to People’s Park Complex along the same road. I saw two sets of passengers – two Caucasians and a local Chinese couple. I stopped in front of the two Caucasian men since they were nearer to me. They were huge typical Caucasians with loud voice. I only realized my mistake when I smelt alcohol once they boarded my taxi. But then it was too late to reject them. I’ll live to regret that mistake.

The one wearing dark colored T-shirt with bermuda shorts heaved into the front passenger seat and instructed me to send him to the Carlton City Hotel where he stay and his friend to West Coast Crescent. I had difficulty understanding his pronunciation and kept asking him to repeat the name of the hotel and the location. He told me it’s at Gopeng Street opposite Amara Hotel. I then told him that I know how to get to Amara Hotel along Tanjong Pagar Rd. I also know where is Gopeng Street but not sure of the Carlton City Hotel though. He told me to just send him to Amara Hotel. I told him no problem. It’s just a short distance away. I hit the meter and off we go. It was about 2149 hrs.

I shot off and made an U-turn at Upper Pickering Street into South Bridge Road heading straight to Tanjong Pagar Road. They were busy talking in an unknown foreign tongue. They could not be speaking English, French, German or Portuguese which I could differentiate. I suspect they belong to one of the Eastern European bloc countries. Maybe from Russia or Ukraine? Very rough and loud with an alien accent. Whilst approaching Tanjong Pagar Road, I distinctly heard they mentioned about Maxwell Road. Thinking that one of them might want to drop off at Maxwell Road, I then turned into the said road just in case. From Maxwell Road, I could always take one of the side roads to connect to Amara Hotel which is just nearby.

All of a sudden, the huge burly Caucasian seated in front started to shout and threaten me. He accused me of cheating him by taking Maxwell Road instead of Tanjong Pagar Road. He knew our roads better than me! I told him I had no intention to cheat him and that I could always give him a discount. No problem at all. He then accused me of lying and then started to hurl all kinds of verbal insults on me. Calling me idiot and stupid. A liar and a cheat! What a langgar situation! When he started to punch the front windscreen with both his bare hands continuously (3 to 5 times), I was shocked and frightened. I kept telling him to relax and cool down. I would send him there for free. No need to pay OK? At the same time I activated the panic button located next to the ignition key to alert my company Operations Control Centre.

From about 2149 hrs to 2200 hrs, for barely 10 mins especially the last few mins before 2200 hrs, I was in mortal fear of my life. I was so worried that he might just punch me on my face whilst I was at the steering wheel concentrating my driving on the road. Imagine he could smash the front windscreen with his bare hands and what would happen if he just decided to land his punches on my face? Controls immediately called my handphone. I asked the Chinese lady if she could speak Mandarin. I then told her in Mandarin there are “two ang mo in my taxi very aggressive and violent. They wanted to assault me. They already smashed my windscreen!” The nice Chinese lady asked me not to panic. They would call the police for me after I told her my location.

When I turned into Wallich Street, the front seated Caucasian then instructed me to stop and asked how much was the fare. It was $9 plus including the $3 city surcharge. He gave me $10 and walked away leaving me in a daze state. It was a traumatic experience.

It happened so fast within few mins but it seemed an eternity. Time stood still. Many thoughts came running to my mind and I went over my options in rapid speed. Should I just drive the taxi to Police CID at Cantonment Street which is just a short distance away or should I confront them when they were about to leave the scene as the police were on the way? I’ve read much about the many cases of taxi drivers assaulted by huge burly drunk Caucasians and I was afraid that I might be one of them. I did not want to be another statistic of such increasing number of cases. Should I snap a picture of him for the police to apprehend him? Fearing for my own safety, I just decided to let them go away. They simply walked away without saying another word!

At about 2210 hrs, the police finally arrived. Photos of the damaged windscreen were taken. My statement was recorded. After nearly an hour, at about 2300 hrs, I finally left the scene after having been advised by Controls to send the vehicle to Loyang Workshop immediately for repair. I had to stop plying for passengers.

Immediately I tried to contact the hirer who is on the 0300 hrs to 1500 hrs shift. He ought to be sleeping by then. Next, I called my mentor AT to brief him what happened. He was there when I needed his help most. Taxi Loh also tagged along to offer moral support. AT guided me on the procedures of sending the vehicle to the workshop. He said he would be waiting for me at Loyang Drive outside the workshop to assist me and then fetch me home. AT was waiting for me when I finally arrived and handed over the vehicle at about 2350 hrs.

When the hirer managed to call me, he said he would like to view the taxi. I drove to his place which is near to my home. I apologized profusely for causing inconvenience to him. But he was kind and understanding. Telling me that so long as I’m safe, there is no issue with his loss of earnings as the vehicle had to be in the workshop. The Chinese lady operator at Controls kept asking me if I was safe or any injuries sustained. She called me few times to check. She was also very kind and re-assuring.

I slept at about 3am today. I was waken at 9am by the workshop. I was told to get a copy of the police report and I had to report to Loyang for more reports. After I had lodged a police report and done the paper work at Loyang Workshop, it’s already 1300 hrs by the time I came home. My hirer and myself were at the workshop admin office. We were told that the windscreen costing about $2,000 would be replaced free of charge. I need not pay a single cent. This sort of cases happened about once every week. We could not claim any loss of income. It is just just bad luck that such thing happened to us. On the brighter side, there is no bodily hurt suffered by me.

Yes no physical harm to me? What about the mental anguish and injustice I suffered? As a citizen of this country, could my government protect me from such similar future trauma? My dignity and basic rights as a local born native of this land – my home and country are blatantly abused beyond repair – though the windscreen could be repaired! The Police classified the case as “Mischief”. They did not bother to ask for the video recording at all. They simply treated it as another case of simple mischief without any empathy at all. Do we still condone and allow all these foreign trash or barbarians to come to our country to abuse us like there is no “government” here? Obviously, one of them is working and living here at West Coast Crescent. Need I go further to quote all the cases involving foreigner monsters abusing locals whether taxi drivers or otherwise to highlight the issue?

My case is the latest hot topic amongst the twenty over taxi drivers in my neighborhood. They have decided to avoid picking up Caucasians unless they are in a family or with ladies. It is better to stay safe than sorry. After all, nobody will come to our aid if anything disastrous were to happen to us even though we are eking out a decent honest living trying very hard to survive in this most expensive city in the world! My latest experience reinforces that mindset when they heard previously so many horror stories about taxi drivers being assaulted by Caucasians!

People are impatient, short-fused and easily riled up. A Briton just walloped a taxi driver over a 20-dollar fare dispute, an American was jailed for punching another cabby and just recently, Donnino Rossetti, the owner of an Italian restaurant was also jailed for hitting yet another cabby. Poor taxi drivers in Singapore seem to kerna a lot these days.

Quoted from Lohcifer

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Posted in Langgar | 23 Comments

Health warning : Watch what you eat!

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My 72 yr old mum is currently working in a chain vegetable rice stall. She is still fit and healthy. She would rather work than stay at home. Every quarterly, the government even gives her some cash money credited to her POSB bank and CPF accounts. She belongs to a group of senior citizens who like to work even though the children give her monthly allowances to spend. She feels useful and independent working hard to earn some money.

After working for some time in one of the vegetable rice stalls – a chain of vegetable rice stalls all over the island owned by the same company, she found out lots of things happening behind the scene. Whenever I chat with her, she would provide me with details of the food preparation process, the number of staff running a typical stall, their nationalities, daily takings etc. In short, she gave me lots of insider information about her work there.

Basically, a typical vegetable stall in a HDB coffee shop is manned by 3 persons. The main player will be the cook who is the in-charge of the food stall. He is assisted by one staff in the morning and another in the afternoon until it closes for the day. Understandably, the in-charge works extra hard with the longest hours operating from about 8am till 9pm catering to the lunch and dinner customers. On top of their basic pay, they are also given incentive payment if collection exceeds the target. There are CCTV cameras all over the stall to monitor them. The boss hardly comes over except to collect the day’s takings. The cash register captures all transactions. The in-charge of the stall is usually a FT from neighboring countries and recently many from PRC. Few locals could undertake such a demanding job churning out simple meals at dirt cheap prices.

Due to time constraint with only one assistant, the in-charge who does the cooking of more than 20 dishes has got to be fast and energetic. As such, he is forced to take short cuts and cut corners. This is what is happening in the food preparation. For example, the vegetable is never washed at all. One method is to boil a big pot of water and dump the unwashed vegetable to half-cook it. Thereafter, it’s then stir fried to taste. I do not worry about dirt and slime on the stalks and leaves of the vegetables. I am more perturbed by the tons of insecticide residue on them. Just look at the beautiful green leaves where even worms would not feast. Surely it must be the insecticide that is keeping away the worms chewing on it. If it is not thoroughly washed and eaten by unsuspecting consumers, what would happen? Wonder no more why city folks like us are getting all kinds of illnesses especially colon cancer. Think of what I just sketched for your imagination. It is no joke and witnessed by my mum working there. As such, she always advises us not to consume green vegetable in a cooked stall except the bean sprouts where they got no choice but to wash them to clear the uneatable husks of the green sprouts. (tuagai)

Just to side track a little. When I was in Ipoh visiting the local eatery, I notice that the leaves of the vegetable are always punctured with holes and they don’t look appealing. When I commented about them comparing to those in Singapore that they are unattractive. The locals in Ipoh gave me an invaluable lesson telling me that it’s becuz tons of insecticide is sprayed on the vegetable that even worms avoid. In their case, no insecticide is used making it worm friendly. Which is more healthier in the long run? I was told that no matter how much you wash your insecticide laced greens, the chemicals will never go away completely. In the case of the typical food stall quoted above, it’s far worst than that.

Of course, the other option is to cook your own vegetable at home. But then that is not always possible due to our long hours of work, we simply do not have the luxury. As a last resort, maybe the organic vegetable which is far more expensive will be a much healthier choice since it is not grown in the soil and no insecticide is needed to keep away the worms.

I have elaborated on the no-washing of the vegetable in a typical food stall. What about the manner of preparation for other food such as chicken wings, meat, fish etc. Yup, they simply throw into the hot boiling oil in the wok and deep fry them. Rice is never washed at all before it’s put in the rice cooker to steam. Another observation made by my mum is that all those ingredients and condiments such as salt, oil, sugar, black or light soy sauce kept in small containers meant for cooking are all left overnight without any lids to secure them. Lizards, rats, cockroaches having a big party throughout the night and then they are used in the cooking the next day for our own consumption. Frightening? Flabbergasted? That is why my mum brings her own food to work even though free meals are provided. She would keep far away from those cooked food cuz she knows how they are prepared.

When I wonder why NEA is not taking enforcement action? Maybe, they just look at the appearance of the stall, the dressing of the staff, ensure that there is no rat running around and no cockroaches flying about and they deem to have done their job. Some time ago, I did blog about how drinks such as coffee or tea are prepared by hawkers with pictures taken but there seems to be no action taken. Pls refer to the the article here. Link

From my observation, only those Malay stalls seem more hygienic than the Chinese or Indian food stalls. I have yet to come across Malay stalls out-sourced to FTs. The Malay stalls are usually run by locals. That is why Malay food usually costs more than Chinese food. I would rather pay more for Malay cooked food than those Chinese cooked food which is comparatively cheaper. Just be more observant and look out for yourself the next time you consume your food in a hawker centre or coffee shop. Watch what you eat.

Read related article here link.

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Posted in Langgar | 33 Comments

A disclaimer to an article on TRE

There was an article published on Temasek Review Emeritus yesterday (19/2/14) entitled “An Insider View of SMRT.” (It was a comment posted anonymously on an earlier article titled “SMRT ranked 10th in the world.”)

Due to the fact that my name was mentioned there, it caused many to conclude that I was the writer. I would like to state here categorically that I am NOT the writer and have absolutely nothing to do with that article.

Posted in Langgar | 4 Comments