Sent: Saturday, July 09, 2016 4:00 PM
To: PM LEE
Cc: PM LEE PA 1 ; <a title="ken_dxb ; JAYA ; <a title="cklau60 ; LAY CHER ; <a title="leon.perera ; MIN MASAGOS ; <a title="MEWR_Choi_Shing_Kwok ; HDB CEO ; <a title="QSM ; MP ZAINAL SAPARI ; <a title="pasirris ; PRITAM ; <a title="PSD_PS21 ; PSD QSM ; <a title="sdp ; SDP 1 ; <a title="stlocal ; ST NEWS ; <a title="stanley93896999 ; SYLVIA LIM ; <a title="theonlinecitizen ; TODAY ; <a title="andrew ; WP ; <a title="reachus ; ZBLOCAL
Subject: 20160709 Did civil service ‘tai chi’ contribute to unstoppable rise in dengue cases?
Dear PM Lee
The number of dengue cases is set to rise and NEA has warned it may even exceed the 2013 record of 22,170 cases by close to 10,000.
Despite the authorities’ ‘commitment’ to tackling this issue for years, why has the situation worsened? It’s about time the government abandoned its failed approach and get down to serious business.
Based on my experience, the government’s failure can be traced to the nonchalant attitude of civil servants ‘playing tai chi’ due to the lack of accountability.
In 2014, I highlighted to HDB its advisory on the maintenance of trays (potential mosquito breeding sites) installed under air-con compressors. There are few units with such trays.
Instead of taking prompt action, ie having these trays removed, HDB clarified with a non reply – both HDB and NEA did not regulate the installation of air conditioner trays! Worse, HDB removed the advisory from its website! Case closed.
This led to my complaint to PM Lee 2 months later but till today, the government doesn’t seem to be able to resolve a simple issue. Is this PS 21 or something else?
Civil servants should learn to apply some common sense and not be irresponsible and lazy. For all we know, unnecessary dengue deaths could have resulted from the inaction of civil servants.
HDB/NEA/unknown stat board in charge, if any should get the handful of HDB units to remove their “potential mosquito breeding site” to resolve this issue once and for all.
Common sense dictates the relevant authorities:
1 – Identify units with such trays. (With the presence of at least one grassroots member per HDB block, this could easily be done.)
2 – Issue a request for their removal.
The reluctance of HDB to take prompt action has resulted in NEA using its limited resources to monitor the situation. What’s also strange – NEA did not even request for HDB’s assistance to have these trays removed. And why do town council estate officers turn a blind eye to this issue for decades? Does this not concern RC members?
We frequently read about the impressive “whole-of-government” approach which has turned out to be more of a “hole-in-government” joke.
Please apply common sense to resolve issues and cease blaming the weather, repeatedly, for failure. The weather obviously plays a part but the PMO should be more mindful of unproductive civil servants playing tai chi.
The issue of accountability in the civil service needs to be addressed urgently.
Just some food for thought.
Thank you and have a nice day.