Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Letter from ex-ENV (predecessor of NEA) health inspector dated 27 Sept calling for NEA to fine town councils that breed mosquitoes

Extract from Straits Times online forum, 27 Sept 2005: (link
http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/forum/story/0,5562,343287,00.html )

Sept 27, 2005

Yes, fine town councils that breed mosquitoes

I AGREE with Health Correspondent Salma Khalik ('Fine way to get town councils to clean up act'; ST, Sept 22) that 'town councils should be fined like any other property owner found breeding mosquitoes'.

I should know how effective this can be. From 1961 to 2001 I was a public health inspector with the then Ministry of the Environment.

Thirty-five years ago, when the late Mr Tan Teck Kim, then Commissioner of Police, was seconded by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew to my ministry to clean up Singapore, I had his support to even serve notice on any government department whose properties were found to be breeding mosquitoes.

On one occasion I found mosquitoes breeding in a neglected part of a government school overgrown with thick vegetation. I served a notice on the then Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education at Kay Siang Road.

His secretary asked what my ministry would do if they did not comply with the notice to clear the thick vegetation and remove all discarded articles.

I told her the due process of the law would be applied against her ministry. Within a week, when I checked the site again I found that all vegetation and discarded containers had been cleared.
I was told later that the Education Ministry mobilised more than 20 school servants to do the clearing. News spread far and wide and I had no more problems with schools after that.
The National Environment Agency should take a leaf from my book.

Raymond Lo Wan Mou


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