Tuesday, August 29, 2006

a HK article got me thinking...

The more i stay in HK, the lesser I like it here. Dun get me wrong, I do like the HK colleagues and friends I made here.. its just the environment...

Sure there are nice people no doubt but there are just alot of things I do not like here. It only serves to make me appreciate our singapore govt more despite complaints of the way they pushes laws or policies though esp unpopular ones. There are no perfect govt but I appreciate what I have after living away.

In recent HK papers i saw 1 article on how in the middle of RESIDENTIAL where common folk lives, there was a business located top floor of a flatted factory that was operating as PET CREMETORY. Basically they charges a fee to burn your dead pet. What is obnoxious and vile is that this factory got some license to operate but they were spewing out dirty foul smell from the incineration of corpse, and there werer ashes flying into people's flat. The rate of people getting sick in that area got higher after their operation and the air is gross and not fit for breathing. People force to close windows but ashes still got in. It was reported that residents called SIX (6) govt agencies to complain, including environmental, labor, housing, urban to name a few, but all contacted agencies claim ignorance of responsibilities and push to another govt agency. No one wanted to shoulder the job of closing down the business. And NO ONE BOTHERED to take extra steps to find out who was in charge and who could be of help.

It was until the news hit the papers, that FINALLY someone did something and suspend the licesne to operate. If that had happen in singapore, I'm sure that factory would not last 48hrs, least of all years (i think quite a few years but i forgot the number). The reporter commented, he bet this would never happen in the EXPATS residential area like repulse bay or the peak, or if someone kick a stink from this EXPATs community instead of teh common kowloon community as in this case, the officials would be rushing to answer the call and bells would be ringing. I laughed when i read that.

In singapore, I had called NEA once just to complain about the noise of the contractors on a sunday afternoon for the new condo site behind room. They explained to me that it was allowable for contractors to work on sundays so long the noise is below certain decibels. I asked him "DO U SERIOUSLY EXPECT RESIDENTS TO HAVE DECIBELS DETECTORS?" In a flash, official called the contractor company and the operations was stopped for that few weeks and i didnt hear a squeak. Then someone called me up to explain they have spoke to the contractors to tone it down. I was glad, not becoz i got my wish of quiet sunday, but that someone actually responded. That's what i called efficient public service. They treat complaints seriously. It isnt the first time i called NEA and each time, they responded promptly and in good race. In HK, i think my complaint would have been lost. So for opposition lovers, I seriously think you have to live out of singapore for a while to maybe appreciate just a little bit of goodness of what we have.

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