Resident upset with noisy foreign neighbours

The following is an email sent to The Online Citizen and copied to various government ministries, including the Ministry of National Development, the HDB, JTC, and the local media. We publish the letter here in full without edit.


After months of decline, and amid plans to scrap the SHiFT scheme (flats under the scheme were either being sold back to HDB or to interested tenants), the scheme is back in full force.

However, the quality of the tenants being accepted under the scheme are “polluting” Pasir Ris constituency with either their physical noise or environmental attitudes. A good example of a block under this scheme is Block 755.

I would like to implore JTC and EM Services to effectively enforce the ethnic integration quota system (if this policy is still in force) and to EDUCATE the tenants that the flats they live in are LOCATED in SINGAPORE (not in their country of citizenship). If back in their respective countries they can tolerate noise from electric drills on the JTC flats even at 12MN, pump up the volume on their surround sound systems even at 1AM, drag furniture’s everyday, slam doors, kids jumping/playing/shouting like crazy, then please/kindly insinuate in them the correct frame of mind when under the scheme.

For those who do not know what is a JTC flat under the SHiFT scheme, these are HDB units acquired by JTC to house our foreign talents (SPR, EP, S-Pass). If we are all living in HDB comfort or in the comfort of landed properties and condo’s, those who live in a JTC flat has to totally start from ZERO. This means there is no furniture at all, not even a chair for you to sit, a table to eat, or a bed to sleep on. You also have to arrange for PUB (gas, electric and water) activation and a phone line. So, when the tenant moves in to the unit, you can expect that there will be noises here and there such as moving furniture and from drilling holes (mount mirrors, electric heaters, etc). But being considerate as we are, we try to understand and feel with them their inconvenience. But at times, there are cases when we really are
dead-tired and we just want to rest and have a peace of mind from the noise in the street and the noise in the office and in the middle of your sleep, we hear this noise so loud it even wakes up the children (who usually sleeps soundly)! What is the logic behind our foreign talents’ brain that they would not consider that the unit they are making noises with has four households to consider (if the unit is a corridor unit and mid-floor)?

I am not sure whether this issue falls under whose purview and so I just keep all concerned (I think) in the loop as most of the time we all have the habits of “passing the buck around.” But, I strongly believe that this falls under JTC and EM Services, unless otherwise JTC/EMS would like to exonerate itself and pass the buck to the Pasir Ris Town Council, and here’s hoping that HDB, JTC, EM Services, and Pasir Ris Town Council would work together hand-in-hand to educate our foreign talents under the scheme.

For those who would like to suggest that I should have knocked on the unit making the noise. For your info, the concerned citizens on this block did and they were almost punched as two heavily bearded men (on their chest and face, and who appeared to be drunk) came out to confront them.

Some of these foreign talents wives and children are playing with the lift (keeps on pressing the UP/DOWN button), or worse the wives/grandmothers drag their children to the badminton court, or the exercise/playground area and serve sticky/gooey foods. Even the lifts are not spared from these food droppings and the lift floor buttons are either sticky or wet from the child’s hands. Worse is they allow their children to urinate on the lift, or on the lift level of their floor unit. The town council cleaner assigned to this block 755 seem to tolerate this as this has continued unabated. Probably, he leaves it like that as this is an opportunity for him to have a job or task to do. Otherwise, if the tenants of this block would all be tidy and clean, then he will be out of job (sic).

I would like to thank you all for giving some of your time to read on this feedback and here is hoping that this will be resolve soon, not only in Pasir Ris Block 755, but in those areas where JTC has units under the ShiFT scheme. However, this situation also happens in all of our HDB estates and I am sure that HDB is proactive on this issue, specially on the ethnic integration quota system.



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