Sunday, June 8, 2008

What's the issue?

Read an interesting blog post while searching about cycling in Singapore. It is about Town Council threatening removal of bicycles parked illegally. I find it strange for two issues:
1) If parked illegally, then shouldn't they find out who is the offender, give warning or charge the person?
2) Do they have the rights to remove bicycles parked illegally? How about those that were parked legally at the provided bicycle stand but obviously hasn't been used for months?

Anyway, I think the main issue is: ... are they paid to solve the problems, or are they paid to respond when there are complains, be it from residents or their higher bosses?

In the above case, the issue is about blocking fire exit, but the pictures show that there isn't any blockage. I am glad that residents in my block are allowed to park bicycles at railings at each levels besides the new lift as doing so doesn't block anybody. However, I have a feeling that it must be through the MP that the Town Council makes the exceptions.

Last year, my parents received an instruction to remove the altar hanged on the pillar outside their 3-room HDB unit, stating that it may fall off and hurt someone below. The fact is that the altar has been hanging there for more than 30 years without any incidents, and has been further secured after news about objects falling off. I am not saying they are wrong, and I understand that they are enforcing new safety requirement. However, can't they approach it in a more solution oriented manner? E.g. listen to the ground, do some studies, and feedback that the requirement is probably too stringent, and suggest alternatives.

Recently, my brother returned his unit to HDB as those few blocks have been selected for SERS. It was insisted that the windows need to be re-fixed using steel instead of alumnium. Being a block selected for SERS, no one will be staying in his unit, the windows will not be opened anymore, and very few people will be near the vicinity. Since the windows were also not opened for the past near to 10 years because there was aircon, even the contractor also said that the windows parts were still very strong. Shouldn't there be more flexibilities?

It is surely more work for the civil servants to do study and set rules and regulations with flexibilities for instances that don't affect the fundamental reasons for the rules and regulations. However, it is even more inconvenience for many civilians to follow the over demanding and inflexible rules and regulations. So, are civil servants there to serve the civilians, or otherwise?

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