From clean Japan to dirty S'pore

I am a 15-year-old Singaporean who has lived in Japan for most of my life.

My Japanese friend used to say that Singapore is very clean, and wanted to visit this country.

When I came to visit my grandparents 10 years ago, Singapore was fairly clean.

But it is different now.

When I returned to Singapore about three months ago, I found the environment very dirty.

One day, when I was walking to the bus stop, I was disgusted to see that someone had put some leftover food on the bench, and there were ants all over it.

Sometimes, when I go to the food centre, I see birds eating the leftover food on the table. This is very unhygienic.

I have also seen a lot of rubbish on the road. In Japan, people would take home their rubbish to throw away. People should have a sense of responsibility. If we want to protect our environment, we need to change our mindset.

I appreciate the foreign workers who have been helping to keep Singapore clean by sweeping the streets and residential areas.

It saddens me that some Singaporeans do not bother at all, but throw rubbish all over the place.

Yim Kwing Hei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2016, with the headline 'From clean Japan to dirty S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe