Constantly practise tolerance, goodwill and graciousness

I was troubled to read about the petition by a group of residents to close a nearby open field because of the noise generated by youngsters playing football there ("Searching for sound solution"; Jan 27).

This is a sign of the ugly Singaporean and the "not in my backyard" syndrome.

We cannot give in to complaints all the time.

In 1985, when I was in the police force, I had to attend to a resident who complained about a funeral wake in the void deck. She said the burning of joss papers offered in the rites caused ashes to fly into her house on the fifth floor.

I was taken aback by the complaint. I could not ask the bereaved family to stop beating the drums and burning joss papers, so I tactfully told the resident to close her windows and draw the curtains to minimise the noise and prevent ash from entering.

As Singaporeans, we are able to co-exist because we are aware that our multiracial and multi-religious concept of living side by side has been successful.

Hence, we must constantly practise tolerance, goodwill and graciousness with one another.

Neo Poh Goon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 31, 2017, with the headline 'Constantly practise tolerance, goodwill and graciousness'. Print Edition | Subscribe