[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Saturday, September 22, 2007

[Life and death]
This week's been another busy one and I know that there's more to come now that I have more responsibilities.

I've been added into another grassroots committee - the community club management committee.

I've been enjoying my political science classes and can explain to you why scholars say that Singapore is not as democratic as it is. Or that Singapore might even be authoritarian (some say it is competitive and authoritarian) while others say that Singapore is pseudodemocratic.

But that is not the story that I want to tell. The story that I want to tell is not based on ideals. It is based on reality (at least through my own eyes).

I once wrote a piece titled "Why do we always have to wait for things to happen". In that piece, I told the story of how the death of an NSman shed some light on unauthorised military training methods. In that article, I questioned.

In March this year during a routine block visit cum dialogue session, residents at Hougang Ave 10 had asked Minister to take action regarding an unsafe crossing - two fatal accidents had occured (one in November last year and one in January).

Minister had ordered immediate feedback to the LTA. For a long time, grassroots leaders have been writing to the LTA, trying to explain that it is imperative that they take action to make the road safer. Time after time there was no action.

It is not because of the lack of feedback. One thing I do not understand is why it took the LTA three deaths and five months to finally install a new crossing and a fence on the road divider. But I am still glad that the feedback was taken into consideration. But at what expense you ask. I keep my fingers crossed and pray that there will not be anymore deaths along that road.

The traffic lights were brought to life one day after the fated death. Coincidence or just pure bad luck? I am not sure but LTA may have the answers.

Two nights ago, there was another block visit but this time it was at a different location. The general questions that surfaced at a dialogue session was about LUP (lift upgrading programme), insufficient carpark lots and fire hosereels in view of the recent spate of block fires.

It is clear that feedback from residents is important. I remember Michael Palmer saying that one should take ownership of his or her own neighbourhood. And when such feedback is given it shows that residents are concerned. But residents are urged to do more - to join the residents' committees - to be involved.

Well at least, feedback does not fall on deaf ears. But I do not have an answer as to why some things take longer than others to be put to action.


Blogger george said...

The simple answer is:

Feedback from the ordinary folks has to run the gamut of red tapes of the bureaucracy. And you know how long a process this will take. We are all too familiar.

Feedback, from or backed by some VIP politicians, is like a pair of golden scissors, snipping away all red tapes and bureaucratic process along the way and gets right to the top. In fact, career civil servants worth their weight in their salaries would come down or bend backwards, to meet the feedback.

So hey presto! It's done. And a lot of embarrassing queries from the VIP avoided!

Saturday, September 22, 2007 2:52:00 pm

Blogger Ephraim Loy 黎传志 said...

I think the main point is that at least feedback led to actions that were taken. Let's take it that you are in the residents' shoes, what would your ultimate concern be? Wait and let more things happen?

Sunday, September 23, 2007 1:38:00 am


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