SINGAPORE - A Clementi resident has been asked to remove Christmas decorations, including a mannequin, from the ledge outside his second-storey Housing Board flat for safety reasons.
The decorations were set up on the ledge above a walkway and near a playground at Block 351 Clementi Avenue 2. The decorative features include a mannequin wearing a garland and a Christmas tree-like dress. It appears to be fastened to the railing of the parapet using twine.
Jurong-Clementi Town Council said that its staff visited the resident on Tuesday (Dec 11), after they received an e-mail from citizen journalism website Stomp asking about the decorations.
“The decorative pieces were found to be adequately fastened,” a town council spokesman said. “However, we expressed our concern for safety. The resident responded cooperatively and agreed to remove the display within seven days.”
When The Straits Times visited the flat on Thursday, the mannequin was still standing on the ledge. There was no one in the unit.
Ms Augusta Loh, who is in her 40s and lives elsewhere in Clementi, said she informed the town council last Friday about the decorative features as she felt that they were placed dangerously.
“The decorations are not small... Below them, there’s a footpath to the playground. Children walking there may be ignorant of the dangers,” said Ms Loh, who works in the facilities management sector.
She also wrote to Stomp about this.
It is not the first time the Clementi flat has made the news because of its elaborate festive decor.
In 2010, The New Paper reported that at least three replica reindeer, one Santa Claus and two white Christmas trees were placed on the ledge where the mannequin now stands.
According to the report, dance instructor Philip Sobrielo Gene lived there with his family. Mr Sobrielo told TNP at the time that he had been decorating his flat since 2005.
He added that he enjoyed the excitement and reactions of strangers fascinated by his decorations. However, it came at a cost - aside from spending close to $2,000 on decorations from 2005 to 2010, he also had to deal with higher utilities bills, which would go up by around $100 in December.
Madam Peggy Foo, 65, who lives next door, told ST on Thursday that the decorations were put up last month. She said that the family has been doing so every year for at least 10 years. “At night they will turn on the lights, it looks very nice,” she added.
Another neighbour, who wanted to be known only as Mr Tan, said in Mandarin: “The decorations are here every year... there’s no issue with them.”
Other HDB residents have also made headlines with their elaborate Christmas decorations.
Last year, Mr Tan Koon Tat installed a snow machine, Santa Claus, a sleigh and reindeer at the carpark entrance near his HDB block in Woodlands Street 13. Mr Tan, who had been putting up festive decorations for his neighbourhood for more than 10 years, did so with the blessing of Marsiling-Yew Tee Town Council.
In 2014, Toa Payoh resident Martin Silva got the green light to keep the makeshift Christmas lighting and decorations, including a reindeer, that he put up outside his HDB ground floor unit, on condition that the area remained open for community use.