Monday, September 26, 2005

Today (26 Sept 2005) - Letter questioning NEA's "selective" enforcement policy in exempting Town Councils from being fined

The following letter questioning NEA's "selective" enforcement policy in exempting Town Councils from being fined when their areas are found breeding mosquitoes was published in the Today newspaper, 26 Sept 2005:


'Selective' enforcement?

Deterrent penalties should apply to town councils and other government agencies

Letter from Jeffrey Ho Loon Poh

.JUST like Danny Chua ("Fine the town councils as well", Sept 21), I note with concern that town councils are exempted from fines should areas under their care be found to be breeding mosquitoes.

.This may explain why there is widespread breeding of mosquitoes in many of the public areas (drains, scupper drains, et cetera). National Environment Agency (NEA) chief Lee Yuen Hee was even quoted in The Straits Times as saying that town councils "are not fined for breeding mosquitoes and the agency has no plans to change that".

.While the NEA keeps harping on the fact that mosquito breeding mainly occurs inside homes, the recent anti-dengue efforts found that equally numerous, if not more, breeding places are in the public domain — many of which are under the respective town councils' responsibility.

.How then can we hope to succeed in our fight when the law is not equally applied to deter such irresponsible behaviour, when private residences or construction sites face hefty fines if found breeding mosquitoes, while areas under the town councils (and presumably other government agencies, too, such as state land under the Singapore Land Authority or Public Utilities Board premises) are exempt?

.And at the national level, what is of more concern is: What if all the other agencies with enforcement powers (such as the Building and Construction Authority, Health Sciences Authority and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore et cetera) practise "selective" enforcement when it comes to their fellow government-linked entities?

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