Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2014 8:54 AM
Subject: 20140522 Thousands of vandalised public structures a disgrace
Dear Ms Indranee Rajah
I refer to CNA’s “Vandalism not acceptable: Indranee Rajah” dated 11 May.
You said: “My view on vandalism, that’s a no,…”.
Under Singapore law, an “act of vandalism” means:
writing, drawing, painting, marking or inscribing on any public property or private property any word, slogan, caricature, drawing, mark, symbol or other thing;
affixing, posting up or displaying on any public property or private property any poster, placard, advertisement, bill, notice, paper or other document; or
hanging, suspending, hoisting, affixing or displaying on or from any public property or private property any flag, bunting, standard, banner or the like with any word, slogan, caricature, drawing, mark, symbol or other thing; or
(b) stealing, destroying or damaging any public property;
I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you were not aware of the rampant vandalism that has been ongoing for years in Singapore when you made the above statement.
I would agree with Ms Indranee when you said this is not acceptable. (below)
Is this acceptable?
The issue of loan sharks defacing public properties has been ongoing for decades. Why the urgency on the Toa Payoh case, taking only 2 days to resolve, when the chronic issue has persisted till today?
I have been to less developed countries and have never seen anything like these – a total disgrace.
Since I highlighted the issue of vandalism to the LTA more than 2 years, the situation has worsened. LTA must be joking when it keeps repeating its seriousness!
Is this acceptable?
Let’s take a look at other public structures which have been vandalised, eg.
Town council structures, NParks trees, etc. You name it, you got it. The question is: which statutory board’s assets have not been vandalised?
Vandals’ location of choice could be prominent places like near the top of a traffic light..
How obvious must cases of vandalism be for action to be taken? Are these acceptable?
As you can see, illegal adverts had been recently removed from the SMRT pillar only to be vandalised again. The whole process has been repeating itself over years.
In fact, vandals have been openly challenging the government because they know no meaningful action will be taken.
Where the definition of vandalism is concerned, I hope we are on the same page.
The total space of all the vandalised public property is hundreds of times larger than the area of the Toa Payoh rooftop vandalism case. So why devote so much limited police resources to just one case and turn a blind eye to thousands of others? Seriously, if the issue of vandalism is not addressed, citizens will likely perceive the SPF to be double standard. Doesn’t the government want citizens to trust our men in blue?
We often hear of a whole-of-government-approach to resolving issues. In the case of vandalism, it seems to mean EVERYONE in the different government agencies is doing the same thing ie turning a blind eye.
Why is no one serious on vandalism? Must there be some kind of incentive or is eradicating vandalism not one of the KPIs?
Fact: Thousands of public structures have been vandalised for YEARS.
1 The SPF must be aware of this fact unless every police officer is deskbound. Why are vandals allowed to still openly challenging the police and other relevant authorities?
2 LTA says traffic lights and other structures are inspected every 2 months. If this was the case, why have LTA officers or its contractors been silent on RAMPANT vandalism? Why doesn’t LTA work with the SPF to eradicate this problem once and for all? Why does the LTA keep throwing tax dollars at a useless solution?
All types of vandalism must not to be tolerated. But the SPF action has to be consistently applied to EVERY case.
Vandalism has been rampant for years and for Ms Indranee to claim that it is not acceptable, you have to be corrected.
As the Senior Minister for Law and Education, I would appreciate if you could convince the SPF to assist all the statutory boards to put an end to this chronic issue. I am sure you would agree that such rampant vandalism is a disgrace to our First World status.
Thank you and have a nice day.