Friday, September 7, 2007

"Transient" Residents

I just did some "farming" of my flyers around the Tiong Bahru Estate this morning and I noticed this paper that was stuck above some letterboxes along Tiong Poh Road.

Initially, I was rather amused and I assumed that the person responsible for this notice must have been pretty much annoyed by the inconsiderate behaviour of his or her neighbours.

Yes, there are some littering problems here within the estate. The problem is that there are no rubbish chutes in the Pre-War section. For those who are so used to having a rubbish chute within the home, this is deemed a very troublesome inconvenience. It is really a daily chore to bring the rubbish down to the bins. And the most tempting thing to do is to toss the rubbish out the windows or leave them along the walkways.

Being Singaporeans, we must and will find someone to blame for our own laziness. Perhaps we should blame the town council for encouraging this anti-social behaviour. It is because they have done such a wonderful job that we do not even stop to thank them for doing such a great job. In fact, we expect them to clear up the rubbish as soon as it appears...otherwise we complaint. So what if the estate is cleaned up by noon and sometime even twice, for some of us, it is just not fast enough.

Okay, back to the notice thingy.

On second thoughts, I kinda felt that the notice was quite derogatory. Surely you can detect the disdain in that "artist" work.

That set me thinking. Do we selectively welcome some foreign talents into Singapore and sweep all of the lesser talented foreigners under the carpet. It seems that we want them to be around when we need them to do some dirty work and then wish that they disappear into thin air as soon as they are done.

Recently, I even heard some complaints about foreign workers using a badminton court in between block 38 and 49 Kim Pong Road. Someone complained to the RC members that these people made too much noise while playing badminton and they played on even after the lights were switched off.

I was rather surprised as I live around here and I never had any problem with them. In fact, I am happy that they are engaged in something healthy. If you have the time, go and check it out in the evenings. They all seem like MUTES playing badminton. No shouting and cheering. They are just happy whacking furiously at the shuttlecocks.

I supposed some of us have and supremacy attitude that we just wish these group of people will go and hide somewhere after their work hours. They should just do their work and then go to bed and wake up in the morning and just do their work again. We are almost emperor-like and they are the foot soldiers. We think we can do what we deemed fit.

Coexisting with these transient residents may not be easy. It is true the some of them may be a pain in the neck, but they nonetheless play a very important role in our society. If only there are more communications and mutual respect amongst the residents here, things should not escalate into something messy.

For example, my mum in law was very annoyed when some "transient" residents above her home left all their rubbish in front of her home...even though the bins were just about 10 steps away! She managed to talk to them nicely and the problem has been rectified.

How you treat people would be the same way people would treat you back. If we accord these workers the due respect, I think they will reciprocate too.

1 comment:

UrbaneSpaces said...

Alvin, there's some perverse caste system amongst expat workers in Singapore which unfortunately spills over into real estate rentals. The rule of non-discriminatory advertising notwithstanding, agents serving 'non-preferred' nationalities are often prepared for:' sorry, landlord doesn't want ...' once the tenant profile is revealed.
Btw, I love the combination of anecdotal lore and commentary on this blog. Please count me as a fan.