Tampines: non-consultative, anti-life Town Council does it again!


(UPDATE 20070827: Update: Tampines anti-cat poster taken off)

Tampines, or rather the bureaucracy of Tampines is really getting stuck at the bottom of my head-in-the-sand list. “Again?” you ask. Yes, AGAIN. Sit back and let us recount the ways.

Latest: A poster that scares people off strays and villifies both homeless cats and anyone who feeds

Take a close look at this poster found around the town, what do you see?

Click on picture to enlarge (For full rant, read this post on lingcat’s blog)

It perpetuates and promotes

  • hatred and fear of homeless animals in the estate by putting ALL blame of litter, disease and hygiene on little bundles of fur (littering and hygiene are HUMAN ISSUES unless homeless animals have pocket money to buy snacks and cigarette, and throw the wrappers anyhow)
  • misunderstanding (of what it means to be a caregiver)
  • trivialise the efforts of TNRM
  • criminalise all and sundry who feeds (caregivers do feed, but not all feeders care to give a damn)
  • promotes acrimony among neighbours (especially pitting neighbours of opposing camps)
  • indifference instead of compassion (don’t touch animals, they are dirty. Are they? The day may come when all we can dream of are android animals. Compassion begins at home, and the heartlands is home to 85% of Singaporeans.)

The Town Council abuses propaganda to achieve an end to an issue that the perpetrators clearly do not understand or perhaps chose not to understand. In short, it is a great study of ignorance. You can’t demarcate and help only people – in the greater scheme of things, that would be thumbing your nose at everything not directly related to us, homo sapiens. Then wherefore pertinent issues like the green movement? No wonder it is so sluggish here!

EDIT: Dawn‘s take on the latest poster here, and I like what she said:

“First of all, the poster makes no sense. Why would the cats cause a mess if they are being fed? Let me put it this way – you have a big pile of garbage versus food that has been prepared specially for you, which would you pick? In fact, most animals go into the garbage because they aren’t fed.

Secondly, they spread diseases? So does the woman screaming in the poster.

The point is – if you have regular, responsible caregivers who feed the cats in a clean manner, you have less animals going into the garbage. There is no food left around, and hence you get less pests. So if you want to keep the area clean, then responsible feeding should be encouraged!”

If you, like a number of others (including me) feel anything at all about this idiocy, please pen down your thoughts. Some pointers you might want to use

  • Such posters offers NO solution, especially since FEEDING is a HUMAN ACTIVITY – they should be targetting irresponsible feeding. Such posters may in fact create resentment against the strays, even acts of cruelty
  • A responsible town council should offer SOLUTIONS such as TnRM (or “Cat Management”) and NOT resort to such low-brow SCARE tactics!
  • Lingcat mentions that
    “The caregivers have suggested a few times to MPs and Town Council to put up positive educational posters by CWS or SPCA. However, such suggestions were rejected.The reason being they have to be fair to all residents by not educating on a specific animal issue.”
    Ask how is such posters not educating on specific animal issues, and wrongly too.
  • Remind them of the Social Responsibility Carnival Nov 2005 and what happened thereafter. Ask if the Town Council’s stance that it supports responsible caregiving, aka TNRM, still stands and how posters that broadcast messages to the opposite help volunteer-residents who are trying to do TNRM (scroll down for details)

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Last year: Not holding up their end of the bargain

Tampines Town Council has achieved notoriety among cat-lovers, especially caregivers. As an animal lover myself, I will never consider making my home in Tampines. Why? It had agreed to a trial period of 6 months where it will not send homeless cats to be killed at AVA, but instead work with caregivers on issues in areas where there are caregivers. Guess what? They continued gathering cats anyway, just like the Nazis kept the Jews filing into Treblinka and its sister camps.

Here’s the chronology of posts on Dawn’s blog, as far as I’ve been able to gather, for your reading pleasure. Note

The six-month trial period is more than over now, and while there are no blog entries that directly addresses what has happened since, I feel Dawn has spoken about the situation without naming Tampines as the recalcitrant Town Council involved.

Origin 2005: Social Responsibility Carnival – Nov 2005

This is the one that banished Tampines Town Council to the pits, for me. They put up these posters at a Carnival on Social Responsibility (Click on the picture to enlarge):

The full fracas can be read here. The full-text of letters to the press also in there.

Chronology on Dawn’s blog

Conclusion

How is possible to conclude anything positive about the Tampines Town Council’s attitude? Only in Singapore, “City of Possibilities or Fluff City” do you see such idiocy!

(UPDATE 20070827: Update: Tampines anti-cat poster taken off)

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