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Questions to ask your PAP MP


Alfrescian (Inf)

Forum: Problem persists two years after feedback was given​

Jan 19, 2023

I agree with Mr Bernard C.G. Law that action needs to be taken quickly to resolve complaints made to town councils (Town councils and residents must aim for happier living spaces, Jan 17).
In March 2021, I wrote about the potential hazard posed by Housing Board flat residents who had placed potted plants on their window ledges (Do more to remove potential killer litter, March 6, 2021).
The HDB responded, and said it had contacted the residents to remove those plants, and that they had since repositioned the plants safely (Residents play role in maintaining safe environment, March 19, 2021).
But almost two years later, the problem persists.
It sometimes feels like people like myself who bother to give feedback have wasted their time by doing so.

Mohamad Nurhafiz Mohd Noor


Alfrescian (Inf)

Forum: Illegally parked trailer still there despite repeated feedback​

Jan 25, 2023

I reported the illegal parking of a flatbed trailer alongside the kerb in Tuas South Avenue 9 through the OneService app on Jan 11 (Fewer vans, mini lorries parking illegally at hot spots in Woodlands, Jan 15).
I received a reply from the Land Transport Authority that a parking warden visited the reported location and that action was taken against the motorist.
However, the same trailer is still there. I reported it again on Jan 13, and received the same reply. This made me wonder whether I was receiving automated replies, and whether any action had ever been taken.
I am very concerned about such illegal parking as a colleague of mine will need to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life after driving into the back of a flatbed trailer that was also parked illegally in a different spot at night. There was no hazard or warning light on the vehicle, and the road was poorly lit.
The authorities should take stern action against the company that owns the trailer before another accident happens.

Mariah Ng Lai Keng


Alfrescian (Inf)

North-South Corridor: 3 key gripes from residents and how LTA is dealing with them​


The North-South Corridor construction along Ang Mo Kio Ave 6. ST PHOTO: THADDEUS ANG

Kok Yufeng
Transport Correspondent

Jan 25, 2023

SINGAPORE - Noise, vibrations and traffic diversions. These are the three major bugbears that residents and businesses near the upcoming North-South Corridor (NSC) have about the construction work that has been going on right at their doorsteps.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that efforts are being made where possible to minimise these inconveniences.

Noise and vibrations​

Currently, the NSC works are largely centred on building diaphragm walls for the 12.3km of underground road tunnels that will be part of the integrated transport corridor.
The construction of these reinforced concrete walls – which form the foundation and permanent walls for the tunnels – is the main source of noise and vibrations that the residents have complained about.
These works are critical to safety, as the diaphragm walls protect existing structures and ensure the stability of the construction site. Hence, they must be completed in a continuous manner without stopping, said LTA.
This is why, even though the plan is for other noisy work to end by 10pm, diaphragm wall construction is often carried out late into the night.
LTA said the diaphragm walls are typically built in 6m segments, and it takes about a week to complete each panel, depending on the ground conditions.

The process involves excavating a trench, filling it with a stabilising fluid, inserting a steel cage, and then pouring in concrete to form the wall panel.
For the NSC, the diaphragm walls are being built to a depth of 20m to 50m, equivalent to seven to 16 storeys underground.
If there are hard rock layers to be excavated, more time and energy are needed, which in turn lead to more noise.

Vibrations may also be induced when the trench excavation for the diaphragm walls reaches the underground rock layer, the authority said.


LTA said that it carries out daily real-time vibration and noise monitoring, and that pre-condition surveys are conducted by specialists before works begin so that these disturbances can be managed before and during construction.
Meanwhile, the physical measures put in place to reduce construction noise include the erection of temporary noise barriers near surrounding buildings.
Noise enclosures and mufflers are also fitted onto construction machinery to tackle the noise issue at the source.
Inflatable noise barriers are added where feasible.
However, these preventive measures have their limits.
For instance, the noise barriers cannot be built too high as taller barriers require larger foundations, and the machines cannot be completely enclosed as this poses a risk of overheating.

Traffic diversions​

The NSC is being built in densely built-up areas, which means there is limited space for LTA and its contractors to manoeuvre. Road traffic has to be diverted as a result, to make room for the construction works.
For instance, traffic junctions in Novena have been reconfigured twice already – in October 2020, and again in October 2022.
LTA said such traffic diversions are implemented during off-peak hours to minimise disruptions. They are planned such that traffic is passable in all directions throughout the duration of the construction works.
The impact of the diversions is also monitored continuously, and adjustments are made to the traffic scheme and traffic light timings, if necessary, LTA added.
“We constantly have to compete for space to do our work safely but, at the same time, not disrupt traffic too much. So, it is a delicate balance,” Mr Ang Mau Koon, an LTA deputy director for the NSC project, said.

The North-South corridor construction along Thomson Road on Dec 23, 2022. The physical measures put in place to reduce construction noise include the erection of temporary noise barriers near surrounding buildings. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM


For Mr Ang and the NSC project team, talking to affected residents, businesses and other stakeholders has also been a major aspect of their work.
He said LTA collects feedback through engagement with stakeholders and makes improvements where possible.
For instance, if there are new products that can better shield against the construction noise, LTA will encourage NSC contractors to use them.
LTA said it also works closely with residents to inform them of upcoming works.
This is done through circulars, regular project updates to grassroots advisers and community leaders, as well as LTA’s social media platforms.
Other engagement efforts include door-to-door visits, town-hall meetings and roadshows.
Mr Ang said: “Stakeholder management is very important. Thankfully, most people are quite understanding.”


Alfrescian (Inf)

‘The noise is terrible’: Residents say quality of life affected by North-South Corridor construction​


Mr Jack Patel looking at the traffic and construction from the second-storey apartment he rented along Thomson Road. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Yong Li Xuan and Aqil Hamzah

Jan 25, 2023

SINGAPORE - Every day from about 1pm to 3pm, the floor of Mr Min Thit Saing’s rental unit shakes due to the construction work going on metres away from his home at Block 10D Braddell View.
The operations executive works primarily from home, so he also has to deal with the pounding and whirring of machines used to construct the North-South Corridor (NSC), a 21.5km transport route that will run right next to the 24-year-old’s apartment block.
“The noise is terrible,” he told The Straits Times in late 2022. “The best I can do is close the windows and curtains, and after a while, it just becomes a part of the background.”
In Thomson Road, Mr Jack Patel and his wife have taken more drastic measures – spending $2,000 to soundproof their 19-month-old baby’s room because the noise was affecting the child’s sleep.
According to the couple, who are both educators, construction work outside their apartment can start early in the morning and end past midnight. “There’s no peace and quiet, and you can’t relax,” Mr Patel, 42, said, adding that the construction has gravely affected the family of five’s quality of life.
He said the oldest of his three sons, who is six, has a sensory processing disorder, which makes the noise feel even louder.
Residents in Ang Mo Kio and Yio Chu Kang also said the construction of the upcoming transport corridor, which is slated to be completed from 2027, has disrupted their daily lives.

Joel Felix Raj, 15, who lives at Block 649 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5, said it is difficult to concentrate on his schoolwork with the construction happening right outside his home.
But the secondary school student said he has learnt to live with it.
Meanwhile, businesses near the NSC have also lamented its impact on sales.

At Balestier Hill Shopping Centre in Thomson Road, the facade of the building is almost entirely covered by noise barriers put up by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) as part of its mitigation measures.
Because of this, shops there are not visible from the street and many businesses have shuttered, said Mr Kent Tham, business manager for paint shop Hiap Soon Heng.
Mr Tham, 30, said sales at his shop, which has been at the shopping centre for more than 40 years, have also taken a hit, falling by at least 30 per cent since work on the NSC started in 2018. He said the business relies on its regular customers to survive.

According to Mr Jack Patel and his wife, who are both educators, construction work outside their apartment can start early in the morning and end past midnight. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Ms Cheryl Lim, 24, a sales associate at bicycle store Elite Custom, was more positive.
“We were told that construction would take about eight years, so we were kind of ready for it,” she said, adding that the cycling paths that will be built in front of the shopping centre as part of the NSC may help boost business in future.
Another source of frustration for residents has been the traffic diversions along the planned NSC route.

Mr Yap Keng Soon, 60, who lives in Castle Green condominium in Yio Chu Kang, said the diversions and road closures cause traffic jams during rush hour. Because of this, the traffic in the area can also be quite chaotic, said the senior program manager at Marvell Semiconductor.
GrabFood delivery walker Grace Phua, who lives near Newton Road, said the changes to the walkways and traffic junctions in the Novena area can be confusing. “Suddenly, the walkways change and pedestrians don’t even know where to go. Even the traffic lights keep changing,” the 44-year-old said, adding that she had stopped cycling to deliver food given the bad traffic.

View of the construction works and road diversion along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6 and Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Residents said they hope LTA can do more to help them with the inconveniences, especially in the area of communications, notifying them more consistently about when noisier works will be conducted and for how long.
Mr Solomon Fang, 76, who lives at Block 10D Braddell View, said LTA and its contractors should give out earplugs to help residents cope with the noise.
“Every now and then, we’ll get an e-mail or a note, sometimes a WhatsApp message, saying that the construction work will take place at night as it involves the movement of earth material or concrete. But there’s no reprieve from the noise, you just have to bear with it,” the retiree said.
“Personally, I think the decision to proceed with the construction of the North-South Corridor is necessary, but the minimising of disruptions to residents is not good enough,” he added.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Forum: Unenforced rules on illegal parking may embolden others​

Jan 27, 2023

I am concerned with the general state of enforcement of road regulations (Illegally parked trailer still there despite repeated feedback, Jan 25).
I have made many reports of illegal parking along Taman Sireh on the OneService app, and received the same standard reply each time. I have not observed any physical ticket being issued to the errant vehicle so far, and the same vehicle has remained illegally parked for the past seven days.
I was also advised by the Land Transport Authority’s helpdesk to use the OneMotoring website to make the report. But I have used it since Jan 1 to report offenders, and have yet to see any action being taken against them.
What concerns me the most is that illegal parking, like littering, may seem like a trivial offence, but once such simple rules fail to be enforced effectively, it can signal the start of a decline in general law and order.
Unenforced rules will embolden other potential offenders.
Singapore cannot afford to go down this path.

Ong Eng Hua


Alfrescian (Inf)

Feedback received, but no action yet​

Jan 20, 2023

I have similar problems with giving feedback on problems that remain unresolved (Problem persists two years after feedback was given, Jan 19). I have sent many e-mails to Choa Chu Kang Town Council on groups of men drinking alcohol in Teck Whye Gardens. They drink from late evening till morning. They will leave behind cups, food containers and sometimes smashed liquor bottles. They urinate in the bushes behind the pavilions. The town council acknowledges receipt of my feedback. The problem is still not resolved.

Lew Sin Hoe


Alfrescian (Inf)

Forum: Law enforcement agencies must do better to deter overstaying​

Jan 30, 2023

It is rather inexplicable that two Chinese nationals managed to stay here illegally for more than 10 years after their employment passes were cancelled by the Ministry of Manpower before they were arrested and convicted (Jail, fine for 2 Chinese nationals who overstayed for over 10 years, Jan 26).
Surely there is enough information on overstayers, perhaps starting with their last known addresses or places of employment, to enable the authorities to track them down.
I wonder if the enforcement of the laws on overstaying is too lax, and how many other overstayers are still here.
Reports like this may encourage some foreigners to overstay, since they may think that it takes years for the law to catch up with them, and they may not find the punishment meted out to be enough of a deterrence. The risk and benefit trade-off seems to favour the offenders.
Our law enforcement agencies must do much better in stamping out overstayers, some of whom might resort to illegal activities to survive. Since all overstayers need housing and some work illegally, those who provide them with accommodation or employment should be dealt with severely for abetting in the offence. This would widen the net to more easily and quickly weed out and deport overstayers.

Ang Ah Lay


Alfrescian (Inf)

50 cents for milk in fish soup, 20 cents for bean curd syrup: Rising prices or profiteering?​

Some take advantage of inflation and the GST hike to mark up prices, say hawkers and F&B owners The Straits Times spoke to. But it’s hard to tell where the line between profiteering, and passing on real costs, begins and ends.​


Diners here have taken to social media to complain about rising food prices and extra charges. PHOTO: ST FILE
Andrew Wong

Feb 12, 2023

SINGAPORE – Over the last few months, Singaporeans have taken to social media to complain about rising food prices and extra charges.
One customer said she was asked to pay 20 cents for extra sugar syrup at Rochor Original Beancurd in Geylang. Another was stumped by the 50 cents he was charged for evaporated milk in his fish soup at a Kopitiam foodcourt.
Are customers being fleeced – or are those in the food and beverage (F&B) sector truly suffering from inflation and the goods and services tax (GST) hike, and having to pass on the costs to customers?
“Everybody thinks the GST hike is only 1 per cent and wouldn’t affect us that much,” Mr Lim Min Jie, owner and chef of Braise, a stall specialising in braised meats at Golden Mile Food Centre, told The Straits Times.
The 46-year-old said that after accounting for the price changes across his supply chain, the cost price of his ingredients has already gone up between 5 per cent and 10 per cent. “A lot of people don’t look at it that way, so it’s quite tough for us. There are some people who will say we are making use of the GST hike to increase our prices.”
His sentiment is shared by others in the industry.
“Many customers have been understanding of the price revisions, but we can’t say the same for all,” said Ms Najeera Roseni at the family-owned House of Samosas in MacPherson Road.

For instance, the cost of fresh chicken from her supplier went up from $6.50 per kg at the start of 2022, to $9.50 per kg, and is now $12.50 per kg before GST.
The 28-year-old said many customers have tried to ask for discounts; others simply stopped coming. “Our corporate orders also shrank significantly in January,” she added.
Despite that, she said she understood customers’ concern that F&B businesses may be engaging in profiteering. “There’s no smoke without fire – I do think there are some out there who take advantage of the inflation to mark up their prices,” she said, adding that while businesses’ cost prices have no doubt increased, their price revisions have to be realistic.

The Committee Against Profiteering said it received 286 feedback submissions from April 1, 2022, to Jan 31, 2023, of which 26 involved specific allegations of GST misrepresentation. It has worked with partner agencies such as the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore, the Consumers Association of Singapore, and the People’s Association to engage those businesses.
Those businesses have committed to being more transparent with their pricing, Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong said in a written reply to a parliamentary question last Monday.
Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling said in a parliamentary reply in January that the Federation of Merchants’ Associations Singapore and the Heartland Enterprise Centre Singapore have conducted outreach and walkabouts at coffee shops, Housing Board shops and hawker centres to remind their members of the need to be transparent about their pricing.

Not clear if businesses are profiteering​

Inflation in Singapore reached decade highs in 2022, spurred by supply-side disruptions during the Covid-19 pandemic, among other factors. And it showed up in the prices of Singaporeans’ favourite dishes.
Data from the Department of Statistics shows that a plate of chicken rice cost an average of $3.38 at the start of 2019. This rose to $4.08 by the end of 2022.

“Before the GST hike, we’d already seen other sources of inflationary pressures seeping into the entire value chain,” said DBS Bank senior economist Irvin Seah, adding that some businesses would have had no choice but to pass on the cost to their customers.
OCBC Bank chief economist Selena Ling said that food inflation, including hawker prices, will likely be sustained in the near term to play catch-up.
Li Na Fishball Noodle owner Jeevan Ananthan, who gave up a comfortable career in finance to set up the hawker stall with his wife, could not agree more.
Utilities, rental and ingredient prices – “literally everything” – have shot up for him in recent weeks, said the 31-year-old.

Tough to sustain low prices​

But were hawker prices too low to begin with?
This is debatable, but one of the key features of hawker food has always been competitive pricing, said Ms Ling.

Professor Lawrence Loh, director of the National University of Singapore Business School’s Centre for Governance and Sustainability, said that historically, prices of hawker food have remained low due to containment of costs. “The low prices cannot be sustained if there are high pressures on the cost side, but we need to be mindful of profiteering too,” he said.
Ms Ling pointed out that it is not so straightforward to determine if hawkers or F&B businesses are overpricing their goods.
There is also a time lag in passing on cost increases. “Many could not raise prices over the last three years due to the pandemic and weak demand, so they had to absorb any cost increases,” she said.
But as the economy slowly reopened in 2022, demand has also strengthened, she added.
Hence, these hawkers and businesses became more confident in passing on some of the cumulative cost increases.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Ask your MP: "How did the NMP scheme produce NMPs like Calvin Cheng?"

Former NMP Calvin Cheng calls for food court that accepts cash only to be named and shamed​

Netizens say he is more shameful instead​

by The Online Citizen


Former NMP Calvin Cheng calls for food court that accepts cash only to be named and shamed

SINGAPORE — Former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP), Calvin Cheng has incurred the wrath of netizens from a post that he made on Friday, asking for shops in a food court which only accept payment in cash, with hundreds of comments questioning his disgraceful act.
Posting two images of stalls putting up signs stating that they accept cash only, Cheng calls for the food court in the Central Business District to be named and shamed.
Cheng also posted in his comments asking people to boycott all businesses that do not offer alternatives to cash.
“They must not hamper Singapore’s development as a smart nation, ” said Cheng.
“It’s unbelievable and embarrassing that there are people in the comments section here that are defending the use of cash ONLY. I hope this is the minority otherwise Singapore is finished. We will indeed be a village full of backward villagers.”
“I am constantly reminded that 3 generations ago Singapore was still a nation of coolies and peasants. 5 decades can bring economic development , but we will need another 5 for cultural development. Sad. Failure to reach a Swiss standard of living is being held back by the villagers amongst us. I may be tough on us , but it’s out of love. We need to do better and shame those amongst us who think like villagers amidst first world infrastructure.”
On the same day of his post, Cheng made news after his Swiss digital asset firm, Damoon Technologies was granted membership to the country’s Financial Services Standard Association.
Cheng said: “I believe in the future of digital assets, but this has to be done in accordance with traditional finance’s compliance standards. Switzerland is the pre-eminent global financial hub, and is the ideal place to base crypto-fiat-crypto financial services, as well as a trusted custodian.”

Cheng was a former NMP of the Singapore Parliament from 2009 to 2011 and was appointed as Serbia’s honorary consul in Singapore in November last year.

Cannot believe a former NMP can make such comments, say netizens​

Andrew Tan, one of the commenters, wrote, “To boycott it is your issue and nobody cares. To shame is a disgraceful act. These biz owners have the autonomy to decide what they want to offer. It is their biz. Just like you have the right to boycott as you are using your own money to make a decision. Why not tell the nets company to reduce their charges?”
Shawn Tan wrote, “It’s a pity but DEFINITELY NOT A SHAME that they do not adopt technology. The only thing shameful I see is a person of your stature saying things like that.”
HL Tan wrote, “Why must you name and shame? Do the stall owner need to pay extra fees to use the electronic payment? If it is free now, can one ensure that the future platform won’t charge a single cent? What I observe is payment platforms usually try to get you into the ecosystem and then they start to charge a fee. Can I say I know finance or blockchain or AI, and you do not know is a shame also? no! Everyone has their level of knowledge to adopt certain skills.”
A netizen, Fiona Lim commented, “You are being obnoxious. There are many reasons why F&B outlets prefer cash transactions. They could have been victims of people who “scammed” them with fake paynow / Paylah transfers; or that the digital payments platforms slows down the process of simply buying 1 drink. Or that the banks are charging transactional fees. These are the main pain points that vendors face which should be reaolved by the payment gateways. Do not blame the business if they prefer the most efficient way to transact.”
In response, Cheng wrote, “paynow is free + printing out a qr code costs next to nothing. Silly excuses by embarrassing backward villagers.”
Another netizen, Anaria Marcella chimed into Lim’s comments, “My thought is the same with you. I’m not sure but do you notice that in some or most of his post, he frequently point the blames on other people side but never really illustrate any tips or helpful guides towards people who could use some help?”
A former cashier wrote, “As someone with experience as a cashier, I can say that when there is a long queue of people waiting to make payment, cash payment is the fastest mode of payment for anything below $100. Using credit card is second fastest but is most costly for the retailer. This is followed by NETS (because the customer needs to key in their PIN). PayNow is the slowest mode of payment, because very often, the customer fumbles with the app, waiting for the pages to load, point the camera to the QR code, show proof of payment, etc.”

He added, “As a retailer, I want to make the transaction as fast as possible, so that I can process more customers within the same period of time. This is why I will choose cash payment only. Less decisions for the customer, more sales, more revenue.”
Sally Tan criticised, “I can’t believe I am hearing from a former NMP and just shame the stall. My goodness.. I mean u r a public figure, former NMP. Is that how you should behave? I mean if the stall owners who know nothing or find it hard to keep up with the technology because they are the older generations and they need to feed themselves and families because everything in Singapore is so expensive. If u r shameful to be here, then migrate to somewhere else better than Singapore? I’m sure you are rich enough to do that.”
In response to Tan, Cheng wrote, “if there are people in our country who can’t even print out w qr code they shouldn’t be allowed to operate.”
Steven Goh Robo reasoned, “There can be many reasons why an outlet don’t want to go cashless transaction. It could be they are not as tech savvy, or the cost of using tech is too high for them, or they had experienced many dishonest consumers who don’t pay for their meals. Have you attempt to speak to them to understand why? In any case, they are the business owner, they have the right to decide what’s the mode of payment is best for them. Certainly to be named and shamed is not what an inclusive society should be doing.”
In response to Goh, Cheng wrote, “the reason for not being able to print out a simple qr code and turn on notifications for paynow payments, is laziness and close mindedness. Must be shut down,”

Very hard to speak to villagers​


Lack of empathy by former NMP​



Alfrescian (Inf)

Forum: Hoarding by neighbour a serious concern​

Feb 15, 2023

My immediate neighbour is a hoarder. His home is so cluttered that his door cannot even open fully, making it a hindrance in case of an emergency. I have also seen cockroaches crawling out from the unit.
He is old and frail, with vision problems, and lives alone. I have tried to speak to him, but he has ignored all help and suggestions.
I have also reported the matter to the town council, HDB and the area’s MP in the past year.
Most of his nearest neighbours are in their mid-80s, with one in a wheelchair. There is little chance that they can be evacuated fast enough if a fire were to break out in the flat.
We have been asked to look out for one another, especially the elderly living on their own. But we cannot do things alone. I also do not want to depend on luck and just hope that a fire won’t break out in my neighbour’s home.

Lilian Chai Yook Chun


Alfrescian (Inf)

Forum: Getting kids to school shouldn’t be so hard​

Feb 15, 2023

I can empathise with parents facing troubles over transport for their children at St Stephen’s School (School takes action to ease bus woes, Jan 30; Little choice but to rely on school buses, say parents, Feb 6).
I have four children: two in different primary schools, one in pre-school and the youngest is a baby.
My eldest child is in an all-girls school. Seven years ago when our second child was born, my husband and I took pains to buy a flat that was within 1km of an all-boys school for our son, as my husband is not an alumnus of any school in Singapore.
Regrettably, when we attempted to enrol the boy into that school, we were twice unsuccessful with the balloting process, and we had to enrol him in a school 8km away.
To compound matters, we subsequently found that the bus operator with his new school would not pick him up as we were not on the service route.
As for our third child in pre-school, the school bus operator has also stopped services for the past 1½ years, citing profitability issues. So we have had to figure out how to get three children to school on time, at around the same time, without school buses and without breaking the bank.
I had appealed to my MP and to the Ministry of Education for assistance to get my second child into the school that is within walking distance, but I was told this was not possible.

With all this talk of supporting families, it is my hope that the authorities will look into this issue.
Getting a child to school shouldn’t be so difficult. It is unrealistic to expect parents to own a car to ferry their children to and from school, or find people to accompany their children in a taxi or private-hire vehicle every day, twice a day.
There should either be guaranteed school bus services or a guaranteed place in a school that is within 1km of a child’s home.

Vicki Loh Hui-qi


Alfrescian (Inf)

Forum: Height difference causing road completion delay hard to understand​

Feb 21, 2023

I read with great disappointment the article “Longer wait for direct route to Bartley Rd for Bidadari residents” (Feb 20).
Over the past few years, residents in the Bartley area have had to live with the construction of the Bidadari Build-To-Order (BTO) flats, the related infrastructure works, and also the road-widening works of Mount Vernon Road.
Since it was announced that Bidadari Park Drive was slated for completion in the first half of 2023, I had been waiting eagerly for the direct route to Bartley Road and for better traffic conditions.
It is deeply unsettling to now learn that the completion is postponed indefinitely. I am baffled to learn that the cause for the postponement was a height difference of more than 1m between Bidadari Park Drive and Bartley Road, and that the best-deemed remedy is to raise the already busy Bartley Road to match the height of the new road.
When the new road was being designed, did it not occur to the authorities and the construction team that there would be this height difference? How was this not picked up during the construction plan submission and approval stages?
I hope the authorities will learn from any lapses and mistakes from this situation, and hold the relevant personnel accountable for this waste of taxpayers’ money.

Liew Hwei Cheung


Alfrescian (Inf)
That is about 14 caught a day.
And these are the ones that are caught.
Those that were not caught could be at least 20 times this number i.e. 280.

More than 5,000 e-bike riders caught riding on footpaths in 2022​


Motorised devices are not allowed on footpaths to ensure safety for both pedestrians and riders, said LTA. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Gabrielle Chan

Feb 21, 2023

SINGAPORE - More than 5,000 power-assisted bicycle riders were issued notices by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in 2022 for riding on footpaths.
Motorised devices are not allowed on footpaths to ensure safety for both pedestrians and riders, said LTA.
LTA has a team of active mobility enforcement officers and auxiliary police officers who conduct daily enforcement operations across Singapore, it told The Straits Times. Closed-circuit television is also deployed to spot users who ride on footpaths, and the cameras are frequently moved around the island whenever a new hotspot is identified.
“LTA’s priority is safety for all users, and pedestrians tend to be the most vulnerable group,” said LTA.
It added: “We hope that device users understand the rationale and abide by the rules. But we are also prepared to carry out enforcement against errant riders.”
Responding to queries from The Straits Times, food delivery services Grab and Deliveroo reiterated their stance against dangerous delivery riding, with both companies saying they ensure their delivery partners are kept updated and reminded of safety regulations in line with LTA’s rules.
Delivery riders under Grab who use power-assisted bicycles are required to pass the mandatory theory test and undergo a training programme which cover topics such as road regulations, occupational safety and riding techniques.

“Our delivery partners are aware that they are required to observe all local regulations as per our Code of Conduct,” Grab said, adding that delivery riders caught flouting these regulations may be subjected to suspension.
Deliveroo said that it requires all riders to complete a road safety guidance programme and conducts regular road safety programmes to refresh their riders, adding that it works closely with LTA to ensure law-abiding riding.
LTA said that first-time offenders caught riding on footpaths may face a fine of up to $2,000, a jail term of up to three months, or both. Riders with subsequent convictions face a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment of up to six months, or both.
“In addition to enforcement, we will continue to inculcate safe riding behaviours, and reinforce rules and guidelines through sustained public education and outreach efforts,” the agency said, adding that riders and other path users should exercise responsibility to ensure their safety.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Forum: Regardless of income, mothers make same sacrifice​

Feb 22, 2023

The Working Mother’s Child Relief is intended to encourage women to remain in the workforce after having children (Budget 2023: $3k more in Baby Bonus, more financial support for children’s early years, Feb 15).
Yet, the recent change in calculating the relief – from a percentage of earned income to a fixed sum – is surprising.
It is laudable to offer more help to mothers earning lower incomes. However, the change means that mothers earning more than $54,000 annually or $4,300 monthly now get less relief if they have children from 2024 onwards.
With fresh graduates earning a median salary of $4,200, the change suggests that women who decide to prioritise their career first and have children later will not get as much support as with the old system (More fresh university grads in full-time work with higher pay: Survey, Feb 20).
Regardless of how much mothers earn, they all make the same sacrifice every day by having to put their child, sometimes from a young age, in the care of a third party when they go to work.
What impact will this change have on women and their ability to balance their career and family interests?
It would be useful to share more data and show the projected impact on working women and birth rates.

Seha Yatim


Alfrescian (Inf)

Balance the needs of HDB flat buyers with interests of the owners​

Feb 25, 2023

I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read about several MPs bringing up the revised CPF Housing Grant, which has been increased by between $5,000 and $30,000 for eligible first-timer families and singles buying resale flats (MPs debate BTO balloting, Feb 24).
Some MPs expressed concern that the increased grant might lead to higher HDB resale prices. Actually, giving grants is always a good policy to mitigate hardship.
My question is why MPs are keen to suppress HDB resale prices for the sake of a small percentage of buyers against the interests of 80 per cent of Singaporeans who are already flat owners and expect the value of their flats to appreciate.
As MPs, they should know the expectation of their constituents.
Moreover, we cannot expect the prices of HDB flats to remain depressed all the time when the cost of labour and materials for building new flats is bound to go up over the years.
Therefore, the prices of existing flats will naturally appreciate accordingly.
When new flat buyers get their unit a few years after applying for it, their salaries will have increased by then and will increase over the years, while their HDB monthly instalment will likely remain fixed.

Hence, it will no longer be a burden to service the loan. Monthly instalments are an investment and are different from rent, which is considered an expense.

Harry Ong Heng Poh


Alfrescian (Inf)

Managing waste without disposable bags a challenge for households​

Mar 10, 2023

With the rising cost of living, the move by supermarkets to impose a disposable bag charge effectively imposes a further financial burden on households (Most supermarkets to charge 5 cents for each plastic bag from July 3, March 3). Singaporeans reuse disposable bags to bag their waste. This helps to avoid spillage, odour, pest infestation and other public health nuisance. The authorities should offer alternatives for managing food waste and other rubbish.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Forum: Long wait at polyclinic but still did not get to see doctor​

Mar 14, 2023

I wish to express my concern about the accessibility of public healthcare at polyclinics in Singapore.
Recently, I took my 19-year-old daughter who had a fever of 37.8 deg C to Bukit Batok Polyclinic and was told to queue for a time slot to see the doctor.
But we ended up not getting a time slot because my daughter was not considered a priority case, as she was neither a child nor an elderly person running a high fever.
While I acknowledge the need for prioritisation in a busy healthcare system, I am concerned that this may prevent people from accessing the healthcare they need, particularly for minor illnesses that could escalate into more serious conditions.
For many families, polyclinics may be their only option for healthcare, and not getting treatment could have dire consequences.
In my recent experience, being in the queue for nearly an hour before being told we would not get to see the doctor was frustrating.
Many Singaporeans, like myself, have employee benefits at polyclinics that can help defray the cost of healthcare. Even with the Community Health Assist Scheme benefit, private healthcare costs are still higher than those for public healthcare.

Policies on public healthcare accessibility at polyclinics should be reviewed to ensure that everyone can receive timely and appropriate care.

Patricia Goh


Alfrescian (Inf)

Residents complain of defects in new Fernvale Dew estate in Sengkang; HDB says most issues resolved in 2 weeks​


Residents at Fernvale Dew have raised concerns about shoddy workmanship and multiple defects of their new Build-To-Order flat. PHOTOS: SCREENGRAB FROM CYN TAN/FACEBOOK

Elaine Lee

Apr 4, 2023

SINGAPORE - An online petition that made claims of poor workmanship in a nearly completed Housing Board Build-To-Order (BTO) estate has garnered more than 100 signatures.
Headlined “Feedback on shoddy workmanship Fernvale Dew”, the Change.org appeal was started by Fernvale Dew resident Kelvin Leong, who claimed that HDB had started issuing keys to homeowners in the estate in Sengkang, despite ongoing construction works there.
“Most of the owners, especially those batches who have collected keys in early February 2023 identified multiple defects with shoddy workmanship, ranging from hollow and chipped tiles, scratches on main door, scratches on bedroom doors and frames, slanted skirtings and DB (distribution board) box cabinets and many more,” the petition read.
The petition then claimed that the car park near where the distribution of keys to homeowners was not ready as of March 25, and has caused “much distress and further delays to a vast majority of the homeowners here”.
It then claimed that there were “severe delays” in the rectification of defects identified by the homeowners by the Building Services Centre (BSC), whose contractors allegedly disguised or concealed the defects instead of fixing them.
Mr Leong told The Straits Times that it took a total of 28 days for the defects in his new flat to be satisfactorially rectified.
“Although it is not 100 per cent perfect, we have decided to accept (it) and move on from there,” he said.

Besides the issues mentioned in the petition, resident Cyn Tan complained in a Facebook post that there was heavy ponding outside her unit when it rained. The accompanying video to her post showed large amounts of water flowing down from the sky terrace to her unit.
Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Gan Thiam Poh told ST that some residents had approached him and shared their feedback about the defects of their flats, which they reported to HDB after collecting their keys for their new BTO flats.
“I’ve gone down to the blocks to take a look at the issues a few times and I’ve conveyed the residents’ concerns to HDB for their assistance,” he said.

“A few residents had come back to me and said the matter had been resolved.”
Mr Gan added that the HDB contractor will be around for a year to attend to defects reported by residents and he will continue working with the residents and HDB to resolve any other unresolved matters.
“We are committed to solving all the issues that the residents face as they collect the keys to their new homes.”

HDB told ST that the bulk of the feedback from some flat owners of Fernvale Dew pertain to minor defects on surfaces, fixtures and fittings, such as uneven wall surfaces or painting, scratches on doors or window frames, and skirting joints.
“These defects do not affect the structural integrity of the building nor compromise the functionality or liveability of the flats, and can usually be rectified easily and fairly quickly.”
HDB added that seven of the 10 residential blocks have been completed as of March 31, with the remaining blocks to be completed by mid-April. Some 513 households have collected their keys in the 1,188-unit development.
The statutory board said that all newly completed HDB flats are covered by a one-year defects liability period, effective from the date of key collection. Flat owners can report defects to the on-site BSC, which would arrange for a joint inspection with the owner to confirm the flaws. A BTO contractor will then “target to complete rectification works within 14 days”.

An online petition that made claims of poor workmanship in a nearly completed BTO estate has garnered more than 100 signatures. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM CHANGE.ORG
“In a minority of cases where more time is required either because of nature of defects or the high volume of reports arising from periods of peak key issuance, the BSC will inform the residents accordingly, if more time is required,” HDB said. “In the case of Fernvale Dew, the vast majority of issues reported by residents have been resolved within two weeks.”
HDB said the water ponding issue along the common corridor of the ninth storey of Block 400B was due to water discharge points being partially blocked by debris from the ongoing works at the sky terrace.
“The issue has since been resolved, after we cleared the debris and further extended the scupper drain along the common corridor to improve drainage,” it said.
It added that there was water splashing onto the link way at the second storey of the landscape deck near Block 401F because of a gap in the canopy roof of the landscape deck, which has since been sealed. A pipe has also been installed to drain the rainwater away.
HDB said: “We thank residents of Fernvale Dew for their feedback, and seek their continued patience as we work with the BTO contractor to rectify any remaining defects in a timely manner.”