ST May 11, 2008Let's recall the earlier ST article, dated 5 May 2008. These sentences were, and are, crystal clear:
Litter index not linked to conservancy charges
By Shuli Sudderuddin
The air has been cleared over the litter index. Residents in Aljunied GRC need not worry about having to pay higher conservancy charges if their estate is deemed dirty.
Netizens were abuzz over a supposed link between the charges and the index after Aljunied Town Council chairman Cynthia Phua mentioned on May 3 that a litter index was being considered to find out which estates were the dirtiest.
It was reported that the index would be based on the cleanliness of lifts, condition of public property and how large pieces of rubbish were disposed of, and that the town council would consider raising conservancy charges for the dirtiest precincts to cover the extra work involved in maintaining them.
Clearing the air yesterday, Madam Phua told The Sunday Times: 'I mentioned that the litter index and conservancy charges can be linked in terms of dollar amount because there will be an increased cost to cleaning dirtier estates.
'However, that does not mean that the Aljunied Town Council intends to link them. I would like to make it very clear that the Aljunied Town Council never had the intention of punishing the residents with higher conservancy charges.'
She added that the town council may use the index to identify the dirtiest precincts. The staff can clean them and residents encouraged to maintain cleanliness. The index has not even been drafted.
ST May 5, 2008As I see it, either the Aljunied Town Council has suddenly changed its plans about the index, or the Straits Times made a big error in reporting the story the first time around. Or perhaps there was just some breakdown in communication, when the Straits Times and the Aljunied Town Council were talking to each other. What do you think?
Aljunied trash index aims to wipe out litterbugs
Conservancy fees may be tied to index, with dirtiest precincts paying more
By Alfred Siew
TIRED of hardcore litterbugs, Aljunied GRC plans to start measuring the cleanliness of its precincts under a new litter index to be introduced in October.
Officials also said they will consider raising the conservancy charges for the dirtiest precincts to cover the extra work that goes into maintaining them.
Anyway, all's well that ends well. Raising conservancy charges anytime in the foreseeable future is just plain silly - considering, among other things, the way that the price of oil, electricity and basic foodfoodstuff have been shooting up. Surely we don't want to risk destabilising Singapore?
Interestingly, I just went to the ST archive service to read the 5 May article in full again. Surprise, surprise. It seems to me that the original article has now been edited. A few extra paragraphs have been added, which I'm fairly certain were not in the original article I saw. Here's some of the "additional reporting":
Other town councils are not yet considering the same move.Well, as you can see, it is obviously untrue that Mr Wang and the PAP are always in disagreement.
Dr Teo Ho Pin, coordinating chairman of the 14 People's Action Party town councils, had reservations about the plan.
He said it means a few litterbugs at a block could end up causing everyone to be punished.
In this case, I agree wholeheartedly with Dr Teo Ho Pin. As a matter of fact, Dr Teo is simply reiterating the very same view that I myself had earlier expressed here, so I cannot possibly disagree with him.
Well done, Dr Teo! In my opinion, you have just shown yourself to be a clear-thinking, clever person.