Excerpts from readers' letters

KEEP CLUBS OPEN TILL HSR ROLL-OUT

I hope the authorities will do something with the former Jurong Country Club and Raffles Country Club now that the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project will be deferred for about two years (S'pore, KL sign deal to defer HSR; Sept 6).

I suggest either NTUC take over the clubs, as it has experience running the Orchid Country Club, or tender the clubs out to a private enterprise so that they can be run as public golf courses.

This will save many golfers a trip to Johor, Batam or Bintan to play.

The golf courses in both clubs are in perfect condition and it would be a waste to let them sit idle for two years.

Ong Tiong Meng

HOW ABOUT SMOKE-FREE FLATS?

Over the years, there have been many complaints from Housing Board (HDB) flat occupiers about their cigarette-smoking neighbours, even though the National Environment Agency says such complaints have been on the decline. As many new build-to-order (BTO) flats are being launched, HDB could consider having some selected, designated blocks in which smoking is banned inside the flat and within the compound of the whole block.

Smoking in these flats - for both occupiers and visitors - could be made illegal and subject to a fine.

Smoking corners could be built close to the block. HDB could conduct a trial to gauge the level of interest for such BTO flats and depending on the response, could consider whether to extend this to other BTO projects. This is a step towards a smoke-free nation.

Stephen Ong

PUBLIC TOILET HYGIENE IS A PROBLEM

I read with some pride and amusement Mr Louis Boisgibault's letter (What makes Singapore a smart city? Sept 10 ).

He wrote: "The stunning success of Singapore's environment policy in public hygiene, cleanliness and mobility can be credited to the National Environmental Agency" .

Has Mr Boisgibault ever visited the toilets in the coffee shops of our HDB heartland, I wonder.

They are always smelly, the washbasins have no soap dispensers or else they are often empty or broken and the floors are wet. It is a miracle that we do not have any outbreak of disease from such conditions.

This is a contrast to cities like Taipei and Hong Kong where public conveniences are normally in tip-top condition. The NEA should form a special unit to enforce some standard of cleanliness in all public toilets.

Hong Tack Weng

WHAT TOOK CCCS SO LONG?

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) began its investigation into the price fixing of fresh chicken products in 2014, following a tip-off (13 chicken firms fined $26.9m for price fixing; Sept 13).

It took two years to then issue "a proposed infringement decision" against the suppliers.

That was in 2016.

It took another two years to conclude investigations and issue its "infringement decision" on Sept 12.

I am puzzled why CCCS took four years to complete its investigations into what appears to be a simple and straightforward case.

Foo Kia Juah

SCRAP TISSUE SELLER LICENCE

It is sad that the National Environment Agency (NEA) charges tissue sellers an annual licence fee of $120.

The NEA seems to have turned a blind eye to the needy and marginalised. These are people who have fallen through the cracks of the elitist society we have become.

Unlike food vendors, who require licences so that food hygiene is maintained, these tissue sellers cause no harm.

NEA should consider scrapping this requirement.

Anthony Ng Seet Boo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2018, with the headline 'Excerpts from readers' letters'. Print Edition | Subscribe