Teach kids to respect common space

It is sad to read the Public Hygiene Council's latest reminder ("The job of everyone to keep Singapore clean"; Feb 8) and to know that Singaporeans have failed to kick the littering habit ("Dirty habit proves hard to junk as fines for littering hit 7-year high"; Feb 5).

The Feb 5 report noted that even though Singaporeans have become richer and more educated, civic consciousness is still lacking.

This selfish disregard for common space is a nagging problem that refuses to go away despite hefty fines and Corrective Work Orders.

We should learn from countries like Japan which believe in inculcating social responsibilities into students at a young age.

Schools and parents play a critical role in ensuring our future generations grow up to be socially responsible citizens.

In multiracial and multi-religious Singapore, the expansion and cherishing of common space is critical for our survival.

Refraining from littering shows not only good personal upbringing but also, most importantly, respect for the right of others to enjoy a clean environment.

Seah Yam Meng