Friday, 19 December 2014


Now unsuspecting animals has become the target victims of a problem created by different animals.

TRE has pointed the finger at Bt Batok MP David Ong for blaming residents for feeding stray dogs at the rats infested area next to Bt Batok MRT Station.

There was another one asking MOS Desmond Lee to take care of the rats problems first instead of pointing fingers at Aljunied Hougang Punggol East Town Council.

Others have defended the MP by saying that these are just tactics used to flame or frame (depending on your tongue) the MP for things he did not say.

So who said those things?  The accurate version is it was a joint statement made by HDB NEA & AVA blaming the feeding of stray dogs.

Let us look at some facts.  The area where free running rodents were sighted is under the management of HDB, and noting the separating of duties among government agencies, this location does not come under the jurisdiction of the area's town council.  But it is also extremely unrealistic to expect HDB to literally manage all land under their portfolio except by appointing contractors to clean and maintain them at fixed period and frequency.  Then the question arised : How did such a problem went unnoticed till it reached an immense stage? Was there no instruction from HDB to its contractors to spot any unusual condition of the site? If the contractors did report to HDB, why was there no early actions taken? If there was no instructions at all, how does HDB manage its array of bare land?

But the town council too has its duty though not spelt out, even for that matter LTA that is responsible for the MRT station it managed.  Rats don't appear miraculously on a specific day to do a photo shoot session for that particular member of the public.  If the problem had gone unnoticed for such a long time, the working culture of our agencies is in shit. We often talked about taking ownership at management training and seminars, corporate meetings not excepted. Apparently those are mere talks that were left behind together with crumbs of pastries and unused sugar & creamer sachets long after the meetings were over.

Why were MRT station staffs who were there day in and out not reporting the matter?  Why was the problem also not reported by Bt Batok town council staffs?  Not their business to do so?  Wake up your idea.

Next coming to stray dogs.  When the media reported that Jurong Island will start its merciful programme of sterilizing stray dogs, the first question that came to mind was how did the stray dogs get into the island in the first place and in second place how did it escalate to a stage of having a community?  My understanding was that construction companies have, traditionally kept dogs to watch over their worksites and this practice has been for decades.  I raised this matter with one person of a purported animal welfare organization long ago, and he said that he had raise this with the authorities.  Stopping the problem where it begins is the only real solution, not what comes next.  But to this day, dogs were sadly abandoned and become strays after the projects were completed.  We are creating more and more stray dogs by not stopping construction companies from rearing them.

Coming back to Bt Batok.  Where are the animal welfare people?  Why was it that residents were the ones feeding these strays?  But you will tell me that the residents are volunteers of animal welfare groups, then why do they not know that leaving food behind after the feeding will end up with a rodent problem? Is there something wrong here?  By the way.....who are the people that gave the information to the authorities that residents were the one feeding the stray dogs?

Is it the Bt Batok Town Council or the MP?

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