MP Indranee spots 'tea bag' tree at Bukit Merah View, the work of a litterbug

Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Indranee Rajah chanced upon a "tea bag" tree on Monday in Bukit Merah View. -- PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ INDRANEE RAJAH
Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Indranee Rajah chanced upon a "tea bag" tree on Monday in Bukit Merah View. -- PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ INDRANEE RAJAH

SINGAPORE - Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Indranee Rajah chanced upon a "tea bag" tree on Monday in Bukit Merah View.

She wrote on her Facebook page that she was taking a walk around the common spaces in the area around Blocks 128, 129 and 130 after celebrating a "Cleaners Appreciation Day" when she noticed the tree, which was "adorned with tea bags obviously thrown from a higher floor and which had snagged on the leaves and branches".

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The Tea Bag Tree of Bukit Merah ViewWe've all heard of the tea tree - plant varieties related to the myrtle...

Posted by Indranee Rajah on Monday, 4 May 2015

"It was ironic to encounter this just moments after the cleaner appreciation event. It reinforces what I said... about how difficult a cleaner's job is. They have a hard enough job without having to deal with deliberate littering like this."

She said that the tea bags have since been removed from the palm tree, but that the culprit has not been caught.

"Was it really so difficult, one wonders, to lift the tea bag out of the mug or cup, and carry it a few feet to the rubbish container that must surely be in the home?" she wrote.

She urged the culprit to stop throwing tea bags out. She said the tea bags were unsightly, and that the act was inconsiderate to neighbours, and added unnecessary work for cleaners, whose job is "hard enough as it is, often carried out in the hot sun".

Acknowledging that some may question the role of enforcement in this case, she said she would ask the agencies to look into the matter, but highlighted the difficulties.

"In order to enforce, you have to identify the culprit. We don't know from exactly which floor the tea bags were thrown, save that it has to be one of the units above the level of the tree top. This block is on the edge of a steep slope that leads down to the road, so there is no opposite block or any other structure from which to mount surveillance cameras. The agencies can certainly try, but do consider the time, effort and expense that has to be incurred in order to do this."

jalmsab@sph.com.sg