Don't entertain debate if solution is working

After two years of trying to solve the issue of noisy mynahs in Potong Pasir, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority is testing the use of a giant trap.
After two years of trying to solve the issue of noisy mynahs in Potong Pasir, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority is testing the use of a giant trap.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

It does not surprise me that there is renewed debate on the mynah issue following the report on the "roost net" test to remove birds (Major intervention to tackle mynah issue, Dec 29, 2018; Everyone has part to play in tackling mynah issue, by Mr Andrew Seow Chwee Guan, Jan 1; Is euthanising birds the only solution?, by Mr Ramamurthy Mahesh Kumar, Jan 2; and Here's to a more compassionate society, by Mr Subramaniam Jayavelu, Jan 2).

I have been living in the same high-rise apartment for the past 25 years, and I can attest to the differences the explosion in the mynah population has brought.

Years ago, I used to be able to hear the chirps of a variety of birds indigenous to Singapore, including a variety of sunbirds as well as the kingfisher, the mangrove whistler and the mangrove flycatcher, early in the morning.

These days, with the explosion in the population of the Javan mynah species, I am able to hear only the mynah chirping.

Additionally, as there are more mynahs now, the competition for food is much higher and my neighbours and I also have had to endure birds flying into our kitchens - a problem we never had in the past.

If a huge imbalance in population is leading to more problems, then we should tackle this issue in a decisive manner.

Entertaining constant debate on any action taken will result in only paralysis and no improvements.

The media has a role to play too. If a solution is working in solving a problem, the objections of a vocal minority should not be made to sound like they are the view of the majority.

Peh Chwee Hoe

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 07, 2019, with the headline 'Don't entertain debate if solution is working'. Print Edition | Subscribe