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Liang Eng Hwa, MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC:
To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) whether NEA can
extend the deployment of surveillance cameras beyond HDB estates to high-rise
private estates to carry out enforcements against high-rise littering: and (b)
whether the Ministry will amend the necessary legislation to empower NEA to do
Hian Chuan Henry, MP for Nee Soon GRC:
To ask the Minister for the
Environment and Water Resources whether there are effective programmes to
cultivate the habit of not littering and to dispose of waste in a proper manner
like that in Japan and Taiwan.
Reply by Dr Amy Khor:
Singaporeans take pride in a clean and
green Singapore and most do their part to keep the environment clean. However,
there is an irresponsible minority that continues to litter and disregard
prevailing societal norms. To tackle such anti-social conduct, the National
Environment Agency (NEA) has taken a tough stance on litterbugs. Last year, it took 32,000 enforcement actions against
2 While enforcement may serve as a
deterrent, it is not the panacea. Our primary line of defence against such behaviour
should be to foster collective responsibility for our environment and cultivate
positive social norms and civic mindedness among our people.
3 To this end, the NEA and various partner organisations
have been conducting campaigns and programmes to promote environmental
awareness and encourage greater stewardship of our common spaces. The annual
Clean & Green Singapore (CGS) co-organised by the NEA, PUB, the National
Parks Board (NParks), and the Community Development Councils (CDCs) encourages
the community to play an active role in keeping Singapore clean and
litter-free. There are also other initiatives such as the Public Hygiene
Council’s annual Keep Clean, Singapore!
campaign which advocates the value of maintaining cleanliness beyond our own
homes, and fostering the habit of picking up after oneself. The month-long
event held in May this year saw more than 370 organisations, including
grassroots organisations, public agencies, and corporations, take part in more
than 500 clean-up activities across the island. NEA has also been targeting its
publicity efforts at mass events such as the National Day Parade celebrations
to remind people to pick up after themselves. These efforts reflect the
whole-of-society approach needed to keep our public spaces clean.
4 Our national schools have also set aside
time for students to clean the common areas of their school each day, and these
activities have helped to inculcate values such as a sense of responsibility
and consideration for others, as well as for the environment. By starting
young, these positive habits are passed down through the generations, just like
in Japan today.
5 To the Member’s question regarding
littering in high-rise estates, our approach is no different; we will continue
to work with grassroots organisations and town councils to raise awareness
about this issue amongst residents. Unlike public estates, private estates are
collectively owned by their residents and public access to such estates are
restricted. Home owners in private estates therefore have the autonomy to
govern and manage the shared private spaces in a responsible manner. For this
to happen, residents should come together to encourage and influence acceptable
social behaviour in their communities. Many condominiums have already put in
place by-laws prohibiting littering within their estates. The management
committees of these private estates can work with their residents to cultivate the
right behaviour accordingly.
6 While the Government will persist in our
efforts to develop greater environmental stewardship, we cannot do this alone.
I urge everyone to play their part in keeping Singapore a clean and green city.
Last updated: 06 Aug 2018
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