Did PAP MP Melvin Yong 杨益财 say anything wrong? He did not sneer at the size of the house. He was concerned about the safety of his residents! What if a fire was to break out and there are so many things blocking at the corridor, residents will find it difficult to escape to safety!
A few months ago, a town council cleaner led Member of Parliament (Tanjong Pagar) Melvin Yong to a tree in the constituency and told him that he had once found a diaper caught in the foliage.
“For our cleaners to be able to clear the diaper from the top of the tree was not easy,” said Mr Yong. It was an anecdote he used to drive home a point as a six-month Gracious Living Campaign for Tanjong Pagar GRC and Radin Mas SMC was launched yesterday at a Leng Kee Park tree planting event.
“Sometimes during lunch, I visit some of the precincts, and I speak to the cleaners and ask them what are the challenges they face,” he said.
“It got me thinking that it was timely to send a reminder to all living in the community that while we can clean (litter), at the same time, we need everybody to remember not to litter.”
The campaign promotes six messages: No littering, no throwing items from apartment blocks, no obstructing corridors, no feeding birds, no urinating in lifts and no discarding of bulky items in public spaces.
“Sometimes we go for house visits, and it’s like an obstacle course — we must walk around things. It’s not safe when you put a lot of things along the corridor. If there’s an emergency, it’s difficult to go through,” said Mr Yong, who chairs the Tanjong Pagar Town Council. He added that residents should call the town council for assistance when discarding bulky items.
A different message will be featured each month, and students from primary and secondary schools have been roped in to spread the word by distributing pamphlets at communal areas. Banners and posters will also be put up to drive home key messages.
Two groups of individuals are targeted. Mr Yong said: “The first group is people who try to litter. Hopefully, they’ll see some of the reminders and they don’t litter. The second group is everyone else who sees people who want to litter and reminds them (not to do so).”