Blogger Phillip Ang recently raised the issue of maintenance in estates under the purview of the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC), pointing out that some trees in the area were leaning quite significantly, likely due to not being properly planted and/or maintained.
Beyond that, there were also many faded road signs that have become illegible after years of exposure to the environment, some to the extent of looking like empty metal boards on poles.
Upon reaching out to PRPTC chairman Mohamed Sharael Taha about the aforementioned issues on 30 December last year via an email copied to the Ministry of National Development, Mr Ang received a reply from the town council, saying that they will “contact the respective officer-in-charge to look into the matter”.
Following that, he noticed that the PRPTC attempted to fix the tree issue by straightening the slanted trees or cutting it down entirely near Blk 512 and 509 in Pasir Ris.
Mr Ang, in a follow-up email to Mrs Ow Foong Pheng, permanent secretary of the MND — which TOC sighted — questioned whether merely “making the trees disappear” counts as actually addressing the issue.
In his email, Mr Ang said that Mr Sharael should be reminded that the town council he chairs is funded by residents and taxpayers and that if these badly planted and maintained trees and old signage were in a condominium, “the estate manager would have been fired ages ago”.
Describing this as a “systemic issue [that is] trivialised by [an] indifferent, irresponsible Chairman”, the blogger then urged the MND to advise the PRPTC to implement proper maintenance protocols with regard to the estates under their management.
In an email to TOC, Mr Ang clarified that the systemic issue here is the Town Council’s lack of a proper maintenance system, which currently mostly relies on feedback from residents.
“It appears there are no estate officers walking the ground at all,” he said, adding that there is also the issue of “potential killer litter” that estate officers seem to have overlooked for years.
“Chairman Taha is indifferent and has wrongly assumed it is acceptable for the [Town Council] to assign the same estate officer to look into why he had not been doing his job for years, i.e own self check own self,” Mr Ang chided.