Thursday, May 8, 2008

My Aljunied: Litter Wonderland

I live in Aljunied GRC. The Member of Parliament in charge of my constituency is Yeo Guat Kwang. Unfortunately, I don't know who he is, or what he looks like. But who cares, as long as he lets his work on the constituency do the talking, I am okay with him being almost anonymous in the neighbourhood.

Wait a minute! He is anonymous. And what work are we talking about? There's no work to do any talking at all. Aljunied's trash index is tops.

Any way, my family live on the top floor of one HDB flat. Our toilet ceiling had wet patches, thanks to some water seeping and leak, affecting the paint. Town council did not offer a solution. According to HDB rules, any such matter will involve the upper floor and lower (affected) floor paying 50-50 for repairs. But in our case, who is going to pay the other 50%? Town Council or HDB? Hell, it's not our fault our ceiling got patchy. It's not as if my whole family climbed onto the top of our HDB flat and peed on it till the ceiling of the top floor got wet patches. Maybe Town Council and HDB are working very hard to pass the buck and avoid responsibility.

The government and the people that make up it obviously hail from the Enlightenment Humanist period. They isolate actions, crime, motivations and behaviour based on human rationality. If more bans, fines, sanctions and disincentives are enforced, citizens are assumed to become more obedient. Running a government in Singapore should be very easy, just punish punish punish, because life and human beings are simple. Human relations and motivations are simplified and isolated to cause-and-effect linearity.

It is thus a brilliant idea to conceive of increasing the conservancy charges of the dirty constituency. Maybe that will logically decrease the litter! It's all cause-and-effect, isn't it? Maybe my neighbourhood won't smell like urine. Maybe the auntie/uncle on the second and third floor of my flat will not throw their bread and rice (to feed the pigeons), their cigarette buds and the occasional sanitary pad.

Welcome to Aljunied, where cars get baptised with bread!

I have a better solution yet. Why not get MP Yeo Guat Kwang to come visit his constituency everyday? Rationally speaking, the Town Council will want to polish his apple(s) and mobilise more cleaners to clean up the place, so Yeo will see a clean place. Before the MP visits, the cleaners will always clean the place up, so the MP (who probably does not live in a HDB flat) will never be able to experience the realities of living in a HDB estate.

There are people who have been relocated from the kampongs, and there are also crazy people, all living harmoniously with the rest of us in Aljunied GRC. It's just a mix of culture and some degree of uncivic-minded insanity that we are unfortunate enough to be a litter wonderland that smells like piss.

If you want Aljunied to be clean, get the MPs to visit their constituencies and neighbourhoods everyday. All the respective town councils will be sweating and working their butts off trying to roll the red carpet by erasing the daily crap residents experience.

If you want Aljunied to be clean, pay you conservancy charges for the next couple of years and then you start to vote. *hint *hint


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