In a Straits Times report dated 24 September 2017, it is reported that six families in a four-storey HDB block in Jurong West Ave 1 have been left with no lift access for 12 weeks, ever since a lift broke down in July.
It is said that the lift D in Block 542 has been closed for repairs after it plunged four floors, leaving a woman with a fractured leg.
The incident took place on 1 July and the lift is still unserviceable. The town council told the media that repairs took longer than expected as a final component had to be ordered from overseas, adding that it hopes the lift can be up and running by the end of next month.
However, residents are upset as the repairs is taking a very long time and the lift had only been installed in 2012. They hope that their share of the lift upgrading costs can be deferred or even partially waived.
A legal secretary, who is six months pregnant, lives on the fourth floor. The woman, 35, who wanted to be known only as Ms Nora, said it has been a hassle climbing up and down the stairs.
Residents have to fork out the installments for the $2,700 share of a lift that failed so soon after the upgrading programme in 2012. Prior to that, residents did not have a lift.
Mr Tan Teck Soon, 50, a cook who lives on the second floor, said, “It would be good if they can delay the payments, especially since we haven’t been able to use what we paid for. It would be even better if they give us a ‘discount’ for the lift.”
Jurong-Clementi Town Council general manager Ho Thian Poh responded to The Sunday Times, saying that tests and checks for the lift were completed on 23 August and that BNF has been carrying out repair works since then.
“All repairs have been completed except for the replacement of a lift component,” he said, adding that the part is being manufactured overseas and will be shipped over middle of next month.
Town council chairman Ang Wei Neng said, “Our immediate priority is to get the lift operating as soon as possible in October. We are also considering options to assist the residents in the meanwhile.”
According to The Sunday Times, the remaining component is a governor – a safety mechanism that triggers a warning if a lift is going at a speed faster than it should.
In the Facebook post by ST, netizens expressed their disappointment on how the ruling party runs their town council.
Ong Qizong wrote, “PAP run Town council not performing and it is just a small little report. If this happen in AHTC, I Guess it will be on the front pages.”
Govindan Ugresunno wrote, “Compensation should be given to the residents specially to old and sick people. Town council should get them hotels to Stay with full coverage of meals till the problem is over. When residents don’t pay conserve bills they summon and fine us. Be fair now you pay them.”
John Goh wrote, “Ridiculous! Wake up lah HDB! These lift are all universal in Singapore isn’t it? Or least the contractor which got the contract should keep parts for repair and replacement.”
Yew Hui Phoa wrote, “That the lift fell four floors is already very bad. Need months to get it to work again is ridiculous. What a messed up lift vendor, maintenance vendor and town town council… Did they just pay lowest quote or were they in collusion or what? This does not happen anywhere else so something is different here. What is it?”
Wong Hw wrote, “The Town Council should have indemnity insurance for a non-performing product and given that a wrong product has been selected, the Town Council should bear 50% of the full costs and the funds received for any indemnity, to return to all the residents as a goodwill gesture.”
Carol Tan wrote, “Ridiculous! Safety comes first for all residents living in flats. A lawsuit could be filed and compensation for all who got injured and hurts during this period without lifts. We do paid for our flat,our conservancy services and other housing bills. Please look into this serious case!! (Seniors,aged people,pregnant women and small children could be hurting the most without lifts!)”
Cheah Kok Keong wrote, “During tender evaluation, there should be questions asked about the availability and cost of spare parts.”
Michael Loh wrote, “No choice what. Have to wait lah. Cause getting the cheapest cost mah.
On a more serious note, those in charge just don’t care about the inconvenience cause to residence. Why can’t they send the part or parts by express or expedite the delivery? Cost of delivery TO cause of inconvenience to residence.”
Jameson Sow wrote, “Say what if someone of a heavy political weight stays in the same block, how would be the situation be different. My thought would be as good as yours. Just hope and pray very hard that nobody with medical reason in this block needs to be evacuated urgently.”
Benny Tay wrote, “Unbelievable!! This is typical lift in HDB flats all over Singapore and there is no stock for spare parts?”
JF Gary Tom wrote, “The quality was compromised as the outcome of ‘rushing the work’ those days?
Many sure can still remember that they were rushing to install the lifts for the old hdb flats when it was a islandwide project?”
RicHard Goh wrote, “You guys think our ministers will care? Will they even comment? They will comment only if it hurts their pockets or benefits them. A bunch of overpaid useless people. Why so many blinded and vote for them?”
Joseph Ng Chin Boon wrote, “These are repercussions for PAP. The new Government MPs are out of touch. They should not represent the constituency. I remember our late LKY, to him, nothing is impossible. When he walks around, he points out minor faults and at that time, HDB is responsible. No TC. Everything is done up in the shortest possible way!”
Terence Foong wrote, “I wonder what the report or the PAP would’ve said or done if this happened to be a Worker’s Party Town Council.”
Jess Sim wrote, “Aljunied ‘s residents got no such problems, because their town council services are super good and prompt. Hope those IB don’t attack me, I’m only telling the truth.”