SINGAPORE – A case of high-rise littering raised the ire of the ward’s MP – so much so that she decided to hunt the errant resident down.
When the MP for Marine Parade GRC Ms Tin Pei-Ling discovered that a resident had been disposing tampons out of the window, she spared no effort to look for the culprit – even though it meant combing through 7 floors worth of households.
Last week, the Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported that residents had complained of ‘diapers’ being frequently found at the foot of Blk 444 at Tampines Street 42. The final straw came when their MP, Mr Baey Yam Keng recovered a diaper that was still ‘warm’, prompting him to search over 12 floors to catch the diaper-throwing culprit.
It therefore came as a surprise when Ms Tin Pei-Ling was caught in the same sticky situation – but with tampons this time.
According to an article in Tuesday’s Lianhe Wanbao, the Marine Parade MP was informed on Oct 18 afternoon about the high-rise terror litter at Blk 31 along MacPherson Road.
Ms Tin rushed to the scene, accompanied by a Residents Committee manager and constituency manager, and promptly collected the soiled sanitary pads in a bag.
In an interview with the Chinese evening paper, Ms Tin criticised the culprit for being inconsiderate.
“I spoke to residents from the 2nd to the 8th floor, in an attempt to narrow down the possible culprits.”
After spending an hour interviewing the residents on the same day (Oct 18), Ms Tin believes that she has some leads.
“We are still in the process of gathering enough evidence, and will continue to pay close attention to the situation,” Ms Tin said. @AsiaOne news
When I read that article, littering is indeed a big headache in this country. NEA is also at it’s wits end. In some places, they even resorted to install cameras trying to catch litter bugs!
I used to volunteer my services at Geylang East Home For The Aged which is my previous employer’s sponsored charity institution. It’s also within MP Tin’s constituency. Once a year during the Moon Cake n Lantern festival (Mid Autumn Festival), a variety show and some other activities with lots of free moon cakes and lanterns are organized for those old folks and the children living nearby. Myself and colleagues from AMK volunteer our services there by helping to clear the tables, chairs and crowd control. If I were working, I would apply my own leave to attend the event as a volunteer. We would report in the afternoon and leave around mid nite after everything is cleared.
I noticed that the surrounding neighborhood in Macpherson generally is quite clean and well maintained. Could it be that the cleaners there are more effective? That MP seems to me very energetic and very popular with the residents. Half way thru the variety show, she would go to each table and personally hand over some gifts and a red packet to every old folk. She was perpetually smiling to all the residents especially those old folks who were all clambering to have their photos taken together. She obliged them all. Most importantly, she arrived unannounced and just took her seat. Unlike other MPS, there was no large entourage of followers swarming all around her at all. Every year when I attended the event, it’s always the same. I regret to say that I will not attend anymore since I no longer in their employ.
I was not surprised when she jumped after getting news of someone in her ward throwing bloody tampon out of the window. No details except that she said she needed more evidence to narrow down and pin down the culprit. There are only 7 floors with few units on each floor. No timing was mentioned. I assumed that it is a weekday and in the daytime when most of the flats would be half empty cuz the occupants should be working or schooling. Taking into account of that, barely few units of the said block of flats need to be thoroughly checked.
If I were there to offer suggestion on apprehending the culprit, I would have told her to take DNA samples. Swap for saliva or get a hair sample of each female occupant below 55 yrs of age and tagged those samples. Ask them politely. Trust me, usually the innocent will gladly volunteer in order to exonerate themselves of any suspicion. Only the guilty will not co-operate. It could be used as a pretext to flush out the culprit.
At the end of the field investigation, MP Tin should be able to pinpoint to only a handful of suspects. Next, the police will have to come in to pick up the pieces. Believe me, the police investigator with his special stern no nonsense aura should be able to even narrow further down to one or two of the handful of suspects given to the police. If and only if the culprit broke down there and then, then it’s jackpot. Otherwise, the police got to employ the existing laws to compel DNA sample from the few suspects whom had earlier refused to offer voluntarily to MP Tin.
The same principle of investigation to nab the “baby diaper case” in the case of the other MP in Tampines also applies. If our youngest MP Tin could bring the said culprit to court and punished her under the full weight of the law, then she would have achieved much by “killing the monkey to teach the rest!” in her ward. The Chinese saying, “老虎不发威，当我是病猫!” is apt to describe her. Is she just a timid pussy cat or a fierce tigress? That will depend on how she handle littering scourge in her constituency.
Littering is a huge headache all over Singapore. But very few MPs go out of the way to nab it. One exasperate lady MP even declared “how to convince or persuade the other 40%” not to litter? I believe it’s less than that. She could be exaggerating lah!
From the interactions with some of the local cleaners in my neighborhood, they have also told me about how they had to duck “tampon missiles” when they were sweeping the parameters of the blocks of flats. It seems that the locals are taking over those foreign cleaners employed by the town council in my neighbourhood. Hence, I could get an understanding of the littering problem from those local cleaners when they chat with me. That will be another post another time when I shall talk about them.
In the meantime, we wish MP Tin succeed in her determination to weed out this littering menace in her ward. Let’s see if she could solve this nation wide problem?
Read this article ..
“The Coke Bottle
Most Singaporeans will nod proudly whenever a foreigner tells them that Singapore is such a clean and beautiful country. The product or result is what it matters, that is the mentality we are brought up with. A minority of Singaporeans will tell the same foreigner to talk a walk at a normal neighbour hood at 4am in the morning to understand the underlying process. Ah, process, process. Who cares about the process so long we have results? Who wants to wake up at 4am to find out the truth? Nobody appreciates a scene of litter, insects and sometimes even rodents running about for scraps. The ugly truth should be buried under silent night, never to see light. In the morning, all will be well. We are the cleanest country in the world and therefore our residents are the most civic minded.
Let me share with you a personal story during my early days in Perth. One afternoon, I dropped an empty coke bottle on the grass verge by the road near my company. Bad Singaporeans litter, anything new? Three days gone by. I noticed the same coke bottle was still lying on the verge where I parked my car. One week went by and then one month, the bottle was still there, sticking out like a sore thumb along the long stretch of nothingness, reminding me of my sin. I finally picked it up and threw it into a bin one day.
For those who had been here before, you would have noticed the towns and city of Perth looks as clean as Singapore though the cleaning maintenance appears to be much lower in frequency. I wonder makes the difference? Wouldn’t a clean Singapore with much less cleaning, less cost be better for us? Not if we go with the flow of the pragmatic nature of our society. If it works, don’t even think of changing it. Results, results. All that it matters. So what makes the difference? I am no researcher but I am a good observer of life. All people who write stuff are, if you think about it. I will make a guess of the factors behind the different mentality between Singaporeans and Western Australians.
Singapore has a very interesting way of instilling a perspective into its people. When someone puts on a high-vis vest with big bright wordings of CWO, which stands for Corrective Work Order and he picks litter in the park, that is supposed to teach the public to be good and take care of their environment. I wonder what was going through the mind of the litter offender? That going through public embarrassment is the price of not doing the part of a civic minded citizen or not checking properly if there are NEA officers around when he litters. We cannot deny this mentality because when you tell someone you got caught on a speed camera for speeding their first reactions will be, “Wa, so suey.”
“You can do anything you like but don’t get caught.”
That is the unofficial, but most important 8th core value of the Singapore Armed Forces deeply entrenched in the Singapore society. Over at Perth, a Singaporean will be surprised to be lambasted by a stranger who spotted his littering act because 10 out of 10 times if he does the same in Singapore, people will mind their own businesses – unless the 10th guy is an NEA officer. And so he declares that Australians are racists.
It is a known fact that kids in Australia are exposed to work at a much younger age compared to Singapore. Toddlers can be seen “helping out” at their home garden patches, crawling and laughing among the creepy crawlies. Kids will help parents to sort rubbish from recyclable waste and place them in the correct bins that every household will have. For example, we taught little Albany to dispose her own soiled nappy into our waste basket at home at 16 months or so. These days, she does it without prompting and clap her hands after she dunk it correctly.” Link