Friday, December 15, 2017

Give illegal hawkers a chance to make honest living

[A letter from almost 3 years ago. I sometimes draft blogposts and then feel that they are not good enough, or that I want to write more and I put the post in draft, and never publish them. Sometimes it is because I am trying to be more... critical? nasty? sarcastic? Yeah. One of the above. So here is a "mediocre" post. Not very nasty. Though I do think the letter was not thought through.]

Jan 02, 2015

I SYMPATHISE with the food hawkers who continue to ply their trade despite being fined ("Complaints rising against illegal food hawkers"; Tuesday).

Are there any statistics to show how many people have suffered food poisoning after consuming food from unlicensed hawkers?

If the authorities feel that these hawkers' food is not prepared in accordance with proper hygiene procedures or has not undergone quality control checks, perhaps they could send these hawkers for food hygiene courses or do random quality checks on their food.

[Of course! That is precisely why they should be registered and licensed and... you don't know what you are talking about, do you?]

I propose that the National Environment Agency give such Singaporean hawkers a chance to make an honest living, by giving them a licence to peddle their wares, just like how some seniors are allowed to sell ice cream along Orchard Road and in parks.

I believe some unlicensed hawkers are truly unable to find jobs, for various reasons. It is good that they do not steal or peddle drugs.

[So these were the only two alternatives you can think of? So illegal hawkers other options are to steal or push drugs? I love your perspective. And what you think of the less fortunate.]

I admire their strong determination and perseverance in wanting to make a living on their own, instead of depending on government assistance and handouts.

Instead of playing a cat and mouse game, why not legalise their trade in a way that is acceptable to the public?

Allocating designated spots for them to ply their trade will make routine checks easier.

The smell of fresh and piping hot chestnuts sold by street hawkers reminds me of my childhood days, when my father would buy roasted chestnuts from these hawkers.

[So, only roasted chestnuts? kari-pok? Otah-otah? nasi lemak? kueh-kueh? Or just those that remind you of your childhood?]

They will continue to add colour to our Singapore culture.

Lim Chye Hai

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sarcasm, rudeness and personal attacks on social media

By Teo Kueh Liang


23 November, 2017

In today’s context, technology has made it instant and convenient for people to get information and news.

Everyone is able to read news online, and readers may express his or her views on any particular issue or topic on social media.

However, on these platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, the common but unhealthy experience for anyone reading or taking part is that when online users do not agree with someone’s opinions, they often resort to personal attacks by using sarcastic comments and vulgarities on the other party.

[That's because your opinion is STUPID! Oh. Was that rude?]

To me, it is not necessary and meaningless to use such an approach in any discussion or debate. It only reflects the person’s character, personality and his or her level of civility.

It seems that people have lost their emotional intelligence (EQ) or even just their intelligence (IQ) in these public spaces.

[No. I suspect they lost their patience with unthinking boors who have an over-inflated sense of the importance and intelligence of their half-baked opinions and who think nothing of inflicting their ignorance and ignorantly-conceived opinions on others and expect others to be unthinkingly grateful for their "pearls" of swine droppings. Oh. Was that rude too?

Did wild boar in Punggol die needlessly?

By Sivarajah Nathan


I refer to the report, “'Rampaging' wild boar in Punggol euthanised after gunshot wound to neck” (23 Nov).

More could have been done to save the wild boar before it was shot by a police officer. Was the animal sufficiently tasered?

As the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) said, the boar could have been stressed and became defensive after sustaining injuries from the road accident and then found itself cornered.

I am not sure that the police have the right training to handle wildlife and the right specialists should have been called in instead.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Offer public transport subsidies to help S’pore become car-lite

[I am beginning to suspect a conspiracy. But let's go with the Forum Letter to TODAY first.]

Francis Cheng

March 11, 2017

If Singapore is aiming to be a car-lite nation where Singaporeans and non-Singaporeans alike, regardless of class, travel on public transport, then subsidies to ensure affordability may be a necessary element (“Khaw signals that transport fares will go up in future, TODAY March 9”).

Subsidies to public transport are common in many countries. A shift towards greater use of public transport can help reduce emissions and congestion. Public transport subsidies are all the more necessary for low-income households and the elderly.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Provide Raw Water for non-drinking purposes.

Mar 6 2017


My letter to Today in full:

Water has not reach crisis level, but the debate on pending price increase has.

As a long-term measure, I think to save precious treated water, another tap should be laid to pipe in direct cheap raw water from Singapore reservoirs and Johor for general purpose like flushing toilet and cleaning premises.

Then the treated water for drinking and cooking can be as expensive as bottled drinking water and no one need to complain as water for drinking and cooking constitute only a very small portion of water used.

As it is expensive treated Singapore water which can be drank direct from tap, is wasted and go down the drain for general purpose.

We know there are rich households that buy bottled water for drinking and cooking and use tap only for other purpose.

Some fear the flouride and other bacteria killing chemicals in the treated water.

A cheaper way instead of having to lay another pipe, is to use existing tap for raw water and bottled water for drinking and cooking.

Who knows the raw water could turn out to be health craze water!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Water a necessity - shouldn't Govt bear cost for it?

[Water tariffs are increasing. Let the complaints begin!

Oh here's one!]

ST Forum

Forum writer Ng Chun Jin has not heard of many countries or cities that would raise water charges by so much.

23 Feb 2017

The Government, by proposing a 30 per cent tax hike, clearly views water as an economic good rather than a basic necessity. This is a disconnect in principle that requires further examination.

The United Nations, on July 28, 2010, acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Don't overburden escalators by walking on them

[I had this in Draft for a few weeks. then this letter in defence of his "right" to use the escalator as an assisted "Stair Master" appeared yesterday. But here's the background - an earlier letter and a researched article.]

Here’s why ST forum letter about not walking on escalators may actually be a logical one

December 21, 2016
TL;DR walking on the escalator is wearing it out, and is also a potential safety hazard. 
Guan Zhen Tan
We are pretty familiar with the onslaught of outrageous forum letters sent to The Straits Times.
However, a forum letter that received some traction on Dec. 21, and subsequently panned, might actually be, for once, quite logical.
In case you haven’t seen it, ST’s letter online is titled, “Don’t overburden escalators by walking on them”.
On hindsight, this sounds like yet another classic case of Singaporeans grumbling to the mainstream press for nothing.