Singapore Town Councils

Monday, June 26, 2006

Killer litter

To: Feedback Unit
cc: Amy Khor - Chairman, Feedback Unit

26 June 2006

Please see attached email from a concerned resident and do the necessary. Thanks

Jeffrey Ho

Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2006 10:50:55 +0800 (CST)

From: Swarni Kaur

Subject: Re: LITTER BUG

To: West Coast-Ayer Rajah TC BL ,Jeff Ho, NEA ,Tan Lai Oi , Toh Peirong

See my letter dated Dec 05 and attached photo. The resident is still throwing rubbish down from the flat. Getting the cleaners to clean the place is not a permanent soln.

Appreciate NEA/Town council to warn the resident and take action before some resident/cleaners get hurt by bigger killer objects.

Thanks and regards!

--- West Coast-Ayer Rajah TC BL wrote:---------------------------------

Dear Ms Swarni

Thank you for your feedback. We have instructed our Conservancy Contractor to inspect and clean the area regularly. We will monitor the area closely.

If you have any other maintenance feedback, please do not hesitate to contact your Senior Property Officer in-charge, Mr Toh Peirong at tel no. 68964864 (DID) or email me at, so that I can lookinto the feedback promptly.

We thank you once again for your feedback.

Tan Lai Oi
Property Manager or Secretary / General Manager
West Coast - Ayer Rajah Town Council >

Swarni Kaur > 19/12/2005 07:08 PM >

I refer to blk 517c jurong west.

At the void deck (near the kitchen/master room of) unit 567, I always see a lot of tissues paper on the floor.

Appreciate it if HDB could look into investigate and warn/fine this litter bug.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Accountability & Transparency for Town Councils: ST (15 Jun 2006) - 'WASTEFUL' PRACTICES BY TOWN COUNCILS: Have panel examine use of public funds

To: Feedback Unit
cc: Ms Amy Khor - Chairman, Feedback Unit
cc: Opposition MPs and NCMP
cc: sg_review
cc: Today - fyi
cc: Straits Times - fyi

15 June 2006

I read with interest the letter in The Straits Times, "'WASTEFUL' PRACTICES BY TOWN COUNCILS: Have panel examine use of public funds" (15 June 2006) - attached below.

I have been reading letters to the newspapers about such wasteful practices of many town councils and I find this very disturbing.

You can understand the concern and uneasiness of many citizens when such practices become prevalent in town councils as they deal with residents' money, in this case, their monthly Service & Conservancy ( S & C) fees which amount to hundreds of millions collectively. Their concerns are excerbated when the finances of the town councils are not publicly and openly reviewed, discussed/debated and accounted for annually in the presence of the residents in the respective town councils, as is the requirement of "private town councils" which collect conservancy or "maintenance" fees from residents, the MCSTs running private condos. These MCSTs are subject to annual AGMs where their accounts are openly reviewed and discussed/debated as to how they are spent .

I believe the government needs no reminding how the NKF became such an issue when the public's money entrusted to it are "abused", precisely because of lack of proper "accountability and transparency".

Given the prevalence of such imprudent practices in many town councils (as reported in the newspapers and through letters to the forum pages), and for the sake of transparency and accountability, I suggest that the government mandate that town councils convene annual "meetings" equivalent to MCSTs' AGMs where their finances are openly accounted for. This is important as town councils deal with residents' money and as stakeholders, residents have the right to know how their money is spent.

I sincerely hope that the government does not wait till another "NKF-type" case to unfold before taking serious action.

Jeffrey Ho

ST (15 June 2006) - Ltr: 'WASTEFUL' PRACTICES BY TOWN COUNCILS - Seniors' corner, pond gone to waste - cost: $200,000

June 15, 2006
Seniors' corner, pond gone to waste

SOME town councils are not spending money wisely. Here are two examples:

A senior citizens' corner was constructed at the void deck of Block 134, Teck Whye Lane, at an estimated cost of $80,000. It was not used by senior citizens. Instead, groups of motorcycle youths frequently congregate there, making a din throughout the night and leaving rubbish behind.
An 'Eco Pond' was constructed in the small park behind Block 134 and opened with fanfare by the MP a few years ago. Estimated cost? $120,000. Today, it is a mosquito-infested pond with stagnant water and nothing in it.
I hope the Minister for National Development will appoint an audit team to stop such wastage.

Lew Sin Hoe

ST (15 Jun 2006) - 'WASTEFUL' PRACTICES BY TOWN COUNCILS: Have panel examine use of public funds

June 15, 2006
Have panel examine use of public funds

I AGREE fully with Mdm Cheryl Lai Oi Lee's comments in the letter, 'Are town councils spending wisely?' (ST, June 3).

I moved to Sengkang two years ago and noticed regular wastage of resources by the town council. I raised my concerns with my MP, yet such actions went on unabated.

Early this year, the town council dug up two nicely landscaped plots with healthy plants and replaced them with plainer ones. Why waste time and money?

In March, it constructed a 1m by 5m pebble patch, covering a 0.5m by 0.5m turfed spot. In doing so, the council turned a common area into a private recessed area for the ground-floor unit beside it. Residents were not consulted on whether they agreed to such a move.

Many of my queries to the Property Manager went unanswered.

Last month, the council cut down a healthy tree in a turfed mini-roundabout and constructed a pebble patch there, then added a railing in the middle of the patch. Three days later, workers came and hacked up the pebble patch.

Needless to say, residents had to put up with all the noise. Now we are left with a railing in a mud patch.
I wonder what other costly experiments are in the works.

There is certainly a need for an independent oversight committee to examine the use of public funds by town councils and to ensure accountability, responsibility and transparency in the use of these funds.

Lau Hwai Eng (Mdm)

ST (Jun 3, 2006) - Ltr: Why were stone seats demolished?

Jun 3, 2006
Why were stone seats demolished?

I REFER to the letter 'Why keep changing tiles and who pays?' by Mdm Natalie Hwang Geok Lan. I recently wrote to one of our MPs, Dr Amy Khor, to find out why stone seats and a table that were in perfect condition were demolished before the recent elections and replaced with flimsy metal ones. Hong Kah Town Council's property manager replied that there were crack lines, chipped off tiles, and they were old.

All these years my wife and I have been using the stone seats when we take a rest in our trips back from the supermarket. The stone seats and table were in perfect condition. I even had a picture taken of the beautiful structure. There were definitely no missing tiles. It also baffles me how a tiled surface could crack. If so, could not these be repaired?

Many of the questions I posed to the property manager were not answered. I was told the decision to demolish had the approval of the residents' committee. The fact is none of us in this estate had elected any committee to waste public funds in this manner.

Since then, I have made a comprehensive survey of all the remaining structures in the estate. Except for one or two missing tiles, all were found to be in perfect condition.

Roland Soh Oon Teck

ST (3 June 2006) - Ltr: Are town councils spending wisely?

Jun 3, 2006
Are town councils spending wisely?

I COULD not agree more with Mdm Natalie Hwang's letter 'Why keep changing tiles and who pays?' (ST, June 1). The time has come for the relevant government agency to be more transparent in how it manages the conservancy charge residents pay monthly.

With some households paying $85 a month, they need to be consulted when upgrading works are carried out. My Sengkang estate, for example, started installing rain shields for all the flats a few months ago, only to take them down after residents expressed their dismay.

Why do we waste money this way? I am sure the town council had to pay the contractor to fix and then remove them. The workers also left unsightly holes on our once faultless floor.

Another white elephant project is the cycling track which Pasir Ris Town Council undertook last year. A lot of money was used to build the steep track that leads straight to a road junction. It is also meandering with boulders and it is safer and easier to ride on the pavement. The track is badly constructed without much thought.

Would the town council be able to account for the work it had done? The residents need to know that the $85 they pay every month is put to good use.

Cheryl Lai Oi Lee (Mdm)