20170717 Did civil service “tai chi” contribute to dengue deaths?

From: pipakh
Sent: Sunday, July 17, 2016 5:30 PM
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=”enquiry ; 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: 20170717 Did civil service “tai chi” contribute to dengue deaths?

Dear PM Lee

I refer to my email to the PMO dated 9 July 2016 and former MEWR Minister Balakrishnan dated 3 April 2013 (enclosed).

I believe cases like the latest dengue victim who died on June 25 are preventable. This requires the government to address the issue of accountability.

In the vicinity where the 72-year-old woman died, a bamboo pole socket (BPS) was found to be a mosquito breeding site.
Cases of mosquito breeding in BPS leading to dengue are preventable. .

I have already highlighted this issue to the NEA and Minister Balakrishnan more than 3 years ago. From my observation, NEA has failed to effect any noticeable change. Tens of thousands of BPS have remained uncovered/unused without cover since my feedback.

NEA has been at its failed efforts for more than a decade and it keeps
reiterating it will continue with the same failed approach. So how many more must unnecessarily die from dengue?

CEO Ronnie Tay has helmed NEA since June 2013. Under Ronnie’s watch, the same mosquito breeding grounds are found, same campaigns are launched, same PR efforts, etc. It appears everyone is simply going through the motions.

Year No. of cases
2013 22170
2014 18335
2015 11298
2016 (est) 11000
Total 62803

A good leader produces results and doesn’t blame the weather or external conditions for his failure. Moreover, Singapore is only a 719 sq km concrete jungle. Why should CEO Ronnie start thinking out of the box since he knows he will not be held accountable regardless of the number of dengue victims/deaths?

We also have an estimated 30,000 grassroots members living in public housing but it’s just a numbers game I guess. Our “grassroots members” have remained totally silent on the issue of potential mosquito breeding sites for years.

Seriously, civil servants are only kicking the dengue can down the road and giving a semblance of our feedback being taken seriously. It’s a waste of everybody’s time for government to request for public feedback.

The NEA, HDB and town councils must start to coordinate their efforts to prevent mosquito breeding. And cease playing “tai chi”.

Thank you and have a nice day.


Phillip Ang

From: Sharon LO (NEA)
Sent: Monday, April 08, 2013 6:19 PM
To: pipakh
Cc: S DEVIGA (NEA) ; <a title=”Norrizah_YAAKOP ; Annie LIM (NEA)
Subject: Bamboo pole sockets

EHD/ NEA-2013-03-016788

Dear Mr Ang

I refer to your emails on 22 March and 3 April 2013.

2. The Housing & Development Board (HDB) had shared that under their home improvement programme for selected older flats, existing bamboo pole holders are replaced with new pipe sockets which have drainage holes that prevent water from accumulating inside. Currently, the newly-built flats come equipped with the clothes hanging rack system, which replaces the bamboo pole holders.

3. As for flats with the existing bamboo pole holders, we note that most residents are aware that mosquitoes can breed inside and will cover them. While we understand that there are still some who have not cultivated this habit, NEA together with the Town Councils (TCs), Residents Committee (RC) and grassroot leaders will continue to educate residents to do so during our house visits and community outreach programmes. Everyone will have to do their part to prevent mosquito breeding.

4. Thank you for sharing your suggestions on how we can work together with the TCs. We will take them into consideration when we review our operational procedures.

5. Please continue to share your feedback through our NEA Contact Centre at Contact_NEA or 1800 2255 632.

Yours sincerely

< via email >

Sharon Lo (Ms) •

Quality Service Unit

for Director

Environmental Health Department • National Environment Agency • DID : +65 6731 9791 • Fax : +65 6731 9749 • Email : sharon_lo@nea.gov.sg

Find out more about how we can work together to sustain Singapore’s clean and green environment at www.nea.gov.sg. This message may contain confidential information under the purview of the Official Secrets Act. Unauthorized communication or disclosure of such information is an offence under the Official Secrets Act. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, please notify the sender and delete it. Do not retain it or disclose the contents to any person, as it may be an offence under the Official Secrets Act.

Please consider the environment before printing this email

From: phillip ang <pipakh>
Date: 3 April, 2013 10:23:46 PM GMT+08:00
To: “MEWR Vivian BALAKRISHNAN (MEWR)” <v_bala>, “MND Boon Wan KHAW (MND)” <khawbw>
Cc: “bga336” <bga336>, “choonhock” <choonhock>, “MOF Peter ONG (MOF)” <Peter_ONG>, “cue_liew” <cue_liew>, EM SERVICES <feedback>, HDB CEO <HDBCEO>, jaya kumar <jayakumar89>, “jjauto” <jjauto>, “ken_dxb” <ken_dxb>, “lchertan” <lchertan>, “MND Benny LIM (MND)” <MND_Benny_LIM>, “Andrew TAN (NEA)” <Andrew_TAN>, “news” <news>, “newseditor” <newseditor>, PASIR RIS PUNGGOL TC <pasirris>, RAVI <ravi>, SPH GAO <jiankang>, ST NEWS <stnewsdesk>, STANLEY <stanley93896999>, “stlocal” <stlocal>, TC GM EAST COAST <snair>, TC GM PRP <tc_gm>, TC TAM GM CHAN <chan.wee.lee>, “Ho Pin TEO (PA)” <TEO_Ho_Pin>, THEREALSINGAPORE <admin>, TOC <theonlinecitizen>, TRE <andrew>, “zblocal” <zblocal>
Subject: 20130403 NEA – what dengue effort?

Dear Minister Balakrishnan

I refer to my email dated 18 Feb.

The NEA has strategically positioned thousands of banners warning of bamboo pole sockets as potential breeding sites of mosquitoes.

I highlighted there are hundreds of thousands of such uncovered sockets and that this has been ongoing for years.

Could NEA have been working closely with varous Town Councils?

The NEA replied with the assurance that it will remind TCs to check on the exterior of blocks for uncovered bamboo pole sockets.

From my observations, there is little evidence of this assurance being translated into action.

Take for example this typical block where…

there are at least 15 units which continues not to heed NEA’s message.

Town Councils have never considered façade checks as part of their responsibility.

If they had, they would not have allow similar objects to hang precariously and in the process

spotted thousands of uncovered sockets.

I have not observed any block where the above is an exception. Town Councils are

unable to state otherwise.

If indeed sockets are potential breeding sites, it is the NEA’s responsibility

to ensure, not simply to inform/remind, Town Councils take this seriously.

If Town Councils continue to be indifferent, perhaps a fine would awaken those

who continue to sleep on the job.

It would be useful to demand a report from Town Councils on the progress of residents

heeding NEA’s message.

Otherwise, what is the point of wasting taxpayers’ money on banners which

tens of thousands continue not to heed for years

Thank you and have a nice day.


Phillip Ang

From: phillip ang [mailto:pipakh@singnet.com.sg]

Sent: Friday, 22 March, 2013 10:54 PM

To: Puay Boon, Karen HO (NEA); MND Boon Wan KHAW (MND); Mohamad Maliki OSMAN (MND); EM SERVICES; Ho Pin TEO (PA); MEWR Vivian BALAKRISHNAN (MEWR); Andrew TAN (NEA)

Cc: MOF Peter ONG (MOF); HDBCEO (HDB); jaya kumar; ken_dxb; zainal_sapari; pritam.singh; TC GM EAST COAST; TC GM MOULMEIN KALLANG; TC GM PRP; TC TAM GM CHAN; news; newseditor; TOC; THEREALSINGAPORE; SPH GAO; zblocal; STANLEY; lchertan

Subject: 20130322 Re: DENGUE EFFORTS

Dear Ms Ho

Thank you for your reply.

The NEA has not explained why there are tens of thousands of units with uncovered bamboo pole sockets/totally without covers for years. I hope this is not what it means by “NEA works closely with various Town Councils”.

Please do not use your reply to sidestep the issue raised by including irrelevant information ie what NEA does etc.

If Town Councils are indeed responsible for not having inspected these sockets for years, it would be more appropriate to fine them for such brazen irresponsibility.

Otherwise, it is simply a waste of taxpayers money printing thousands of banners and notices.

As the NEA has limited resources, RCs should be involved. Identification of units by RC members will take at most a day or so. With limited manpower, the NEA should involve grassroots members.

A reasonable time frame to produce tangible results would be 3 to 6 months.

Thank you.


Phillip Ang

This entry was posted in EMAIL TO PM LEE/MINISTERS/MPs/STAT BOARD CEOs ..., HEALTHCARE. Bookmark the permalink.

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