HDB residents should not waste any time in trying to engage the authorities because it has been confirmed the government is not interested to resolve this issue. Our right to accepting or rejecting junk mail is determined by the government.
This issue has been highlighted to my town council, Singpost, MICA and I have even complained to the PMO. That was way back in 2006 and I have given up. You can read some of my correspondence here. Although Singpost implemented my suggestion to affix a sticker at the letter box nest, MICA did not address the real issue – why was junk mail delivery monopolised by Singpost after tens of millions of dollars were spent to upgrade letterboxes to reject junk mail?
Instead of removing Singpost’s right to deliver junk mail, the authorities simply required Singpost to affix a tiny sticker at letter box nest.
Singpost is a government-linked company and its profit will fall if junk mail delivery is disallowed.
Under the guise of eradicating junk mail, the authorities effectively removed all the smaller players with its anti-junk mail letter box ‘solution’. These smaller players had no choice but to deliver junk mail to our doorstep, resulting in corridors being frequently littered. Town councils do not seem to have any issue and another one of its ‘solution’ is simply to overwork cleaners. Insufficient cleaners? No problem, just employ more at residents’ expense.
Singpost was being ridiculous when it justified delivering junk mail by claiming that HDB residents want junk mail, its flyers are of higher quality and Singpost Admail offered residents good promotional deals on goods..” Since when did HDB residents appoint Singpost to look out for good deals on our behalf? So only Singpost offered good promotional deals but non-Singpost advertisers offered bad deals? Just like only the PAP is solving problems in Singapore?
As the estate manager, a town council is expected to look after the interest of residents. But whenever a problem arises, our MPs are out of sight and the town council becomes adept in tai chi. What my town council did was it quoted IDA’s letterbox guideline and simply washed its hands off the issue. An estate manager in a private estate would have been sacked but ours are protected by the PAP system of zero accountability. Is such a town council useful to residents or totally useless?
This issue continued to be highlighted numerous times since 2006 after I had stopped engaging the government. In fact, the situation is worse as junk mail is not only delivered to our doorstep but also into our homes. And after a decade, void decks are still littered with junk mail. So who is responsible? Are our public estate managers not able to render any assistance because we are only HDB lessees and not owners of our flats?
The junk mail issue was never meant to be resolved. It appears the plan was hatched to allow Singpost to monopolise junk mail delivery with access to every letter box via the master door.
Since Singpost is able to deliver all our mail via the master door, why should there be a provision for another slot for alternative access for junk mail to be delivered? Why was the decision made by the authorities without consultation with residents?
The problem of junk mail will be not be addressed by the PAP government as it will impact Singpost’s bottom line. PAP ministers and top civil servants do not live in HDB flats and are of course not bothered. HDB residents are expected to bear with the inconvenience. The law (IDA’s guideline) prevents any solution and town councils and the HDB do not have any initiative other than to ‘just follow law’.
As public housing residents, our rights are determined by the PAP government. For those who still want to give this issue a shot, think again.