Forum: Get plain-clothes officers to carry out littering checks

Litter left behind at the beach at East Coast Park.
Litter left behind at the beach at East Coast Park.PHOTO: ST FILE

I am a resident of the Jurong West area, near the Nanyang Community Club.

Currently, Jurong West Park is being redeveloped but the vast open space that has been newly created is already being used by the public.

Every morning, people can be seen doing callisthenics and exercising in the open space.

But what mars this serene image is the sight of cigarette butts, empty cans and bottles, and waste paper scattered all over.

Teenagers are the biggest culprits although sometimes foreign workers contribute to the rubbish too. It is terribly unsightly.

It is little wonder that Professor Tommy Koh's observation that Singapore being First World in economic performance but Third World in social behaviour resonated with many.

Littering reflects not only the lack of civic awareness but also the problem of juvenile delinquency.

Their anti-social behaviour includes underage smoking or drinking. If such anti-social behaviour is not rectified, it could progress to more serious anti-social behaviour including violence.

While our schools are doing a good job, public and family education is equally important.

And this education should be accompanied by law enforcement.

Given that such littering is normally committed late at night, it would be more effective if officers in plain clothes carry out inspections every now and then in selected public housing neighbourhoods.

Wong Tai Chee