Forum: Waste of time, effort for flat owners to sort out their own noise issues

It was heart-rending to read about the plight of a fellow Housing Board flat dweller who faced almost insurmountable difficulties to try to resolve a noise issue with his neighbours (S'pore's first Exclusion Order: Man's noisy neighbours say they will not comply, Jan 7).

But it was even more depressing to continue to hear from others concerned that such issues have not been given the right treatment, even though so many Singaporeans live in HDB flats (Leaving feuding neighbours to sort out issue may not be best approach, by Mr Lee Teck Chuan, Jan 14; New process needed to tackle neighbour disputes quickly, by Dr George Wong Seow Choon, Jan 13; and Disappointed that hands appear tied in dealing with noisy neighbours, by Mr Daniel Tan Jia Hao, Jan 11).

Many Singaporeans have expressed their dissatisfaction that Mr Daniel See had to endure such a long period of distress just to try to have some peace for his family in his own house.

Many cannot even contemplate the long struggle to finally obtain an Exclusion Order - which happens to have no bite - from the authorities.

One wonders what has really gone wrong with the whole process. A law-abiding citizen, who chose to take a civil approach, ends up getting frustrated with red tape.

Who should be held accountable for making life in an HDB flat safe and sound; is it the HDB, the town council, the MP, government agencies or the courts?

It is a waste of time and effort for each individual flat owner to sort out his own complaint. There needs to be a coordinated ministry effort to deal with such issues.

Matthew Quah Chin Kau (Dr)