By Tiffany Gwee
Mr. Lance Yeo has been experiencing an issue at his home for four whole years and neither the authorities nor any organizations out there can offer any solutions to his issue even till today. It would happen at different times of the day and will often come to the point of disrupting the daily lives of his family members.
So what is the issue causing the disturbance?
Mr Lance shared with us a video he took that explains the situation.
An elderly lady would constantly use a broom to hit against his neighbour’s door while expressing her grievances for a certain “noise” that she thought came from the house.
According to Mr. Yeo, he worked with his neighbour and went to approach different organisations to seek help regarding this issue but to no avail.
Complaint about the “Noise” from Above
They tried approaching the Police, the HDB authorities, social groups and also the Community Mediation Centre (CMC) in the hopes of alleviating the problem.
During their meetings with the old lady, she would complain about a “loud noise” coming from above her flat. HDB authorities tried to explain to her that it was not coming from the floor above her but she did not seem to understand.
Mr. Yeo mentioned that there are indeed loud sounds few levels above. “We also hear the noise but there are few levels above us so we have no idea who is making it. I tried to ask around but of course no one will admit it was them who was making noise.”
He also believes that the old lady might be suffering from a mental condition and think that she needs professional help as soon as possible.
Relatives Cannot do Much
The old lady lives with her brother and has a niece living somewhere else. However, when HDB approached both of them, they expressed their inability to help with the situation. “They told me they cannot help much if her family members don’t cooperate,” Mr. Yeo said.
The same answer was given by CMC – that there was nothing much they could do without the help of the old lady’s family members.
Moving Out not an Option
Mr. Yeo also added that the Police asked them to consider moving out of their house if they no longer can “tolerate” the noise. He did not believe that moving out was the solution to the problem.
“We did not do anything wrong, so why must we move out? Besides, it is not easy to get a new flat these days.” It seems to me that the option of moving out is not even on his mind at all.
Issuing of Court Order
Mr. Yeo also approached his Member of Parliament (MP), Mr. Lim Biow Chuan for help.
When he did, Mr. Lim encouraged him to file a Magistrate’s Complaint under the state court. With the eventual issuing of the court order, more can be done then to help the old lady and her neighbours settle the conflict.
He hopes that the issuing of the Court Order in the future will prove to be more useful in alleviating the situation.
It was only two weeks ago that Mr. Yeo decided to videotape the old lady’s actions (as shown the video above). He has since passed the video to his neighbour for him to file a Magistrate’s Complaint.
Mix of Sympathy and Helplessness
Other than working with his neighbour to lodge a Magistrate’s Complaint, Mr. Yeo also managed to get in touch with the HDB officers’ General Manager that is currently in charge of his vicinity.
“I told him that his staff has done whatever they could do and did their best but it is now time for a higher level (authority) to step in.”
The Manager assured Mr. Yeo that he will look into the case and will hold meetings with different social groups and organisations to see how they can help the mentally ill elderly lady.
It is only a month later that Mr. Yeo will check back on the manager’s progress on the case.
He expressed much disappointment in the case but hopes to solve it soon with the help of a General Manager of the HDB officers in charge of his area.
“I sympathise with the old lady for her mental condition but at the same time I feel very helpless because not much could be done to the situation. I hope there will be progress in the future with the help of the General Manager. However, I am not sure what he would be able to do.”