HDB needs to be more responsive to complaints, feedback

I empathise with Ms Cheong Huixin's plight (Upset over unexpected cost during HDB flat renovation; June 9).

Ms Cheong write that despite eight months of chasing, there was no response from the Housing Board to her e-mail.

It is similar to my experience with the organisation. My letter (Protect air-con technicians working at HDB blocks; Oct 31, 2017) was published in The Straits Times Forum around seven months ago, but has garnered no response from the HDB.

This is an era of increased transparency, yet the HDB seems uninterested in responding openly in the press on issues that residents care about.

Compare this to organisations such as the Land Transport Authority, which responded to a letter published on June 2 by June 13 - even if it was only a holding reply.

I hope the authorities will be able to address the issue I surfaced in my previous letter.

Work at heights should preferably be carried out from the safety of a platform with suitable edge protection.

Sometimes, this may not be possible for air-conditioner technicians working with bulky, multi-split air-con units in older HDB flats.

As the largest housing developer in Singapore, the HDB needs to keep up with the evolving reality.

It should be providing permanent solutions to prevent workers from falling from heights in older blocks.

Perhaps, the Building and Construction Authority also could address the issue of whether it is the responsibility of residents to engage a professional engineer to design and install appropriate fall prevention measures inside or outside their old HDB flats.

Loong Chik Tong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2018, with the headline 'HDB needs to be more responsive to complaints, feedback'. Print Edition | Subscribe