The Workers’ Party (WP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Sengkang GRC took to Facebook on Friday (15 January) to draw attention to noise issues at Anchorvale after a resident highlighted to him during the party’s recent house visits.

He said that noise disturbances are one of the most common complaints raised by residents in the ward, adding that it is also the most difficult problem for an MP to solve.

“Noise disturbances are among the most prevalent complaints we receive in #Anchorvale. Unfortunately, they are the most intractable ones to solve for an MP,” Mr Lim said.

This is because it concerns two different residents, both of whom the party represents.

“For starters, they typically involve two resident families, both of whom we represent. What sounds like the pitter-patter of happy children’s feet for one household may turn out to be intolerably disruptive for another, who is trying to conduct an important work meeting from home.

“The grating sounds of furniture movement for a downstairs neighbor with medically-certified noise sensitivity may also be the regular sounds of living for those upstairs, who have a special-needs child that cannot fully understand how to quietly shift the dining room chairs,” he explained.

In the post, the MP then went on to inform on the methods that the party takes when they receive reports of persistent noise issue.

“When we receive reports of persistent noise issues, we typically begin by flagging the matter to the town council or HDB, who would follow up with a visit to the neighbors involved. Among the limited tool we have are mutually-agreed mediation by the Community Mediation Centre, falling which, escalation to the Community Dispute Resolution Tribunal,” Mr Lim said.

He also pointed out that, according to him, these methods provide solution to a certain extent, but they require a large amount of empathy and willing for both parties to accept that they living in shared spaces.

“In my experience, these offer some possibility of success, but they do require a significant degree of empathy, and a willingness by both sides to recognize the natural challenges of living in shared spaces—where the walls and ceilings of one family’s castle are (literally) the walls and floors of another’s palace.”

He also said that the best way to solve this issue is for everyone to act as good neighbours and be aware that we live in a community.

“Ultimately, it falls on every one of us to do our part as good neighbors, aware that we live together in a large urban #kampong, and that we all share an interest in making each others’ living environment a little bit better,” Mr Lim concluded.

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