The job of everyone to keep Singapore clean

We thank Mrs Nazneen Zafar ("Singapore's 'clean city' image trashed by litter"; Jan 24), Mr Joachim Sim ("Japanese lessons on social graces"; Jan 26), Ms Koh Swee Keow ("Take the initiative to keep Singapore clean"; Jan 27) and Mr Lee Teck Chuan ("Speak out when faced with ungracious acts"; Jan 27) for their letters.

It is true that Singapore had an international reputation for being a clean and green city, and it was through years of relentless effort, that we earned that accolade.

It is also true, as Mrs Zafar points out, that we are "not as clean as we used to be".

But the responsibility for fixing this "sad state of affairs" cannot rest solely on the Government.

The authorities are taking enforcement actions. The responsibility has to be shared by everyone living in Singapore.

The Public Hygiene Council has been working with the Ministry of Education, and we are glad that the schools have implemented the cleaning duties programme this year.

We are also working with other sectors such as government agencies, community development councils and town councils as well as event organisers and community partners to raise awareness and encourage the right behaviour to keep Singapore clean.

We should perhaps bring back the national Keep Singapore Clean campaign and make it an annual exercise for everyone.

The "Operation Keep Singapore Clean!" that we have planned for May is well placed to kick off such a national effort.

I call on everyone in Singapore to participate in this national initiative not only in May but every day of our lives.

Edward D'Silva


Public Hygiene Council

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 08, 2017, with the headline 'The job of everyone to keep Singapore clean'. Print Edition | Subscribe