I WAS amazed to read the report ("Steamboat outlet faces closure for repeatedly obstructing walkway"; July 1).
The steamboat restaurant was fined 38 times over the last three years and was finally given an ultimatum.
However, other restaurants in the vicinity are still operating outdoor dining areas right alongside the road.
A waiter was quoted as saying: "If we can't operate outside, it's the end for us."
It would appear that the authorities' primary concern is issuing penalties for persistent flouting of the rules, while noise disturbances, public hygiene issues, general disamenities to the public and perhaps even danger to road users continue unabated.
It also seems that the operation of certain businesses in some areas cannot be carried out profitably without disregarding the rules, and this particular "problem" in Beach Road has been unresolved for several years.
Can the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Land Transport Authority and the management councils of buildings suggest solutions?
[On the one hand we want to have a more "humane" society, with more give and take.
Then we have people who want uncompromising enforcement of the letter of the law. And when the eateries are closed down because of uncompromising enforcement of the law, the authorities will have to take the blame. And the people who asked for the enforcement of the letter of the law will quietly fade away, leaving the authorities to face the music for being "heartless". Passionless. Without Compassion or Humanity. Being overly Legalistic. Or Bureaucratic. Stone-faced enforcers of the law without understanding the needs of businesses or their patrons.
But sure. In the meantime, stridently defend your need for disturbances, nuisances, and disamenities to be dealt with to the full letter of the law.
If you want a kinder, gentler Singapore, it starts with us. Being a little more tolerant. Live and let live. Give and take. Accept a little inconvenience as part of the price of living in a thriving society/community.
Or just clean up Singapore until all disamenities and organic businesses are gone. Then complain that Singapore is so sterile. Then go to places like KL and Bangkok and Penang, and say, "Wah! They have such a thriving street food scene. Ya, it's a little messy, but it is so ALIVE! Not like Singapore. Like a hospital."
Singaporean: One who complains about everything without realising what their complain would result in.]