Forum: Leaving feuding neighbours to sort out issue may not be best approach

The impasse that arises when an agreement cannot be reached in disputes involving difficult neighbours is symptomatic of the values of our society (New process needed to tackle neighbour disputes quickly, Jan 13).

What is noise to one is music to another, and both are right from their perspectives. Even if the ruckus is persistent and apparently annoying, no one is at fault.

There are no concrete rules on social behaviour and as long as no one complains, one can do as he pleases. Even if there is a complaint, the onus of proof lies with the complainant, not the perpetrator.

For Mr Daniel See to have expended close to two years in resolving a seemingly easy-to-resolve issue clearly shows that the aggrieved party bears the brunt of the problem.

Despite a court order of eviction, it is disturbing that the perpetrator can choose not to comply. There seems no end in sight despite much time and money being expended by the aggrieved party.

Meanwhile, the aggrieved party's quality of life suffers. The conflict becomes a test of patience for both sides. But patience wears thin as we lead hectic lives. Are we waiting for something drastic to happen, such as lives lost, before something can be done?

It is also strange that the authorities cannot take firmer action against dwellers of public housing. Leaving feuding neighbours to settle the issue may only aggravate the situation. Why do we let an apparently inconsiderate party make a mockery of the system - from police, courts, even Member of Parliament - when all it takes is for the perpetrator to stop the irritating acts.

While we take pride in being a civil society, we cannot let civility bog us down.

Lee Teck Chuan

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