LianHe ZaoBao 20071224: Cauterwauling Homeless Cats Disturb Our Dreams (野猫叫春扰人清梦)


Got this off Dawn’s blog… once again, the astounding egos of complainants in Singapore, and the authorities’ eagerness to pander to them, simply astounds.

This is the complainant’s letter (will attempt a translation later) :

野猫叫春扰人清梦

(2007-12-24)

● 张利春

有人讲过“不管是黑猫,白猫,会捉老鼠的都是好猫”。可在新加坡却有个奇怪现象,就是不管是组屋楼下、公园、巴刹、路边,不管是白天、黑夜,新加坡的猫全都悠闲的躺在一旁休息,有时甚至还随地大小便,但从来不曾见过它们捉过老鼠,养它又有何用呢?

本人于今年5月买了一间大巴窑大牌143的组屋,可刚刚才入住,每当半夜十一、二点有时甚至是三、四点,楼下的猫发出刺耳的尖叫及打架的声音,让人从睡 梦中惊醒,这些声音有时可以持续二、三十分钟,而有一段时间差不多每晚都会发生,而楼上楼下及对面大牌144的邻居,他们对此也深有同感,我们有把这些声 音录下来,也有去市镇理事会、HDB、市理会的议员处投诉,可从今年5月至今半年,结果是:猫从5月的两、三只,到现在它们又生下的七、八只,从小猫到它 们怀孕到它们生小猫,而现在这些小猫又要成大猫,又会思春,又要生小猫了。而我们又没好觉可眠了!

可怜我们这些花了几十万买屋的屋主,每个月为了要还组屋贷款及市镇理事会的各项杂费,每天白天要出外工作,而晚上回家却不能有一个好的休息环境,为了这些猫的问题焦头烂额,困扰不休。

新加坡的法律对于保护动物有着完善及明确的保护条文,不可虐待及殴打。我们这些屋主该怎样办呢?它们是动物,我们不可用语言来沟通:“请不要半夜喧闹, 我们想睡觉”。驱赶它们,不到一天又全回来了。而有些人则打着爱护动物的名义去喂养它们,它们又怎么肯离开这样舒适的环境呢?

请问我该找谁帮我们解决问题呢?总不能因此就卖掉屋子吧。新加坡有相关法律来保护动物,那么我们这些需要休息的屋主又有什么相关法律来保障及维护我们的权益呢?我才买屋几个月,希望今后20年要在这里度过,我该怎样办呢?

请大家帮帮我们,或提出一些好的建议。

Go read the comments on the post. You will see the link for this english language article, showing once again, that it’s not just cats who are up against irrational complaints, commonsense and tolerance are at critical risk too.

So much trouble over a table

Joyce Lim
Tue, Dec 25, 2007
The New Paper

IT is a case of ‘bang table, bang chair’. On one side of this wooden table is one woman pushing for its removal.

On the other: Those who oppose her.

A group of residents at Westwood Crescent, in Jurong, built it five years ago. They placed it next to the pavement by the road, and said anyone could use it.

It was at this table that residents held their weekly gatherings, sharing food and drinks with each other.

Now, the table – which is as long as a ping-pong table and half as wide – is also destroying the harmony in the area.

A resident who moved in in April wants it out of her sight.

She has written numerous complaints to the Singapore Land Authority and the Land Transport Authority about it.

INCONVENIENT

She feels that the gatherings are disturbing her peace and causing her much inconvenience.

When approached by The New Paper on Sunday, she declined to comment further or give her name.

The authorities acted on the complaints and tried to remove it. As the table was placed in a public area, it was considered unlawful occupation of State land.

Resident Joanne Chua, who wants the table to stay, said: ‘First we saw a warning notice from the authority pasted on the table. Then some officers came and tried to remove it. We negotiated (with the officers) and kept the table in one of our neighbours’ home.’

Then, a few weeks later, the table appeared outside resident Wendy Foo’s house. Mrs Foo said her neighbours asked if they could put it there. She agreed.

But the 40-year-old housewife lives directly opposite the resident who is against having the table.

Seeing it outside Mrs Foo’s house, the resident alerted the authorities.

Meanwhile, the other residents sought help from their Member of Parliament (MP), Mr Alvin Yeo.

They managed to gather 96 signatures from 26 households in a petition to keep the table outside Mrs Foo’s house, and presented it to Mr Yeo during a meet-the-people session.

Neighbourhood disputes are not new to the 45-year-old MP for Hong Kah GRC, but this is the first time he has come across one brewing over a table.

Mr Yeo has met both parties over the past few months.

He said: ‘Both sides have their own points. It’s a good thing that these residents have bonded together through their gatherings at the table. On the other hand, the other party is entitled to her family privacy.

‘It comes down to neighbourliness and it’s a matter of give-and-take.

‘What’s considered noisy to one person may not be noisy to another.’

Mr Yeo added: ‘I hope both sides can get together to find a common ground and I will be happy to help them resolve this amicably.

‘There are laws to follow. I’m afraid if there’s no consensus among the residents, the general rule will have to be applied.’

Last Friday, officers from the authorities were there to remove the table. Again, the residents negotiated with the officers. They finally agreed to keep it in another resident’s home.

Mrs Foo said: ‘This time, the officers were really persistent about confiscating it. We negotiated with them for three hours under the hot sun.’

The table is now kept in Mr Roland Sim’s house. Mr Sim lives two units away from the resident who is against keeping the table.

The 53-year-old businessman said in Mandarin: ‘It’s not an ordinary table. It is one that makes us feel a sense of belonging to this place.

‘When this resident moved in with her family in April, I greeted them and welcomed them to Westwood.’

Another resident Jenny Lim, 48, a housewife, piped in: ‘We have been neighbours for eight to nine years. We celebrate special occasions like Chinese New Year and the mid-autumn festival together. We’re like a big family.’

Mr Wilson Foo, 41, a regional sales manager, said the table is not just for their gatherings.

‘We have old folk taking a break there when they walk from the bus-stop to their houses. Sometimes the road sweepers rest there too,’ he noted.

Polytechnic student Val Chua said that she likes to study at the table as it is windy there in the evenings.

So why not put the table further away from the unhappy resident?

Mrs Foo replied: ‘Wherever we put the table, I believe she will continue to complain to the authorities.’

The residents gather outside Mrs Foo’s house every Tuesdays and Saturdays. Now, they put up a smaller, portable plastic table that they can fold away after use.

Do they talk about the unhappy resident at their gatherings?

No, they said. ‘We’ve better things to talk about, like current affairs, our children’s schoolwork, their exams. We talk about anything, but her.’

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3 responses to “LianHe ZaoBao 20071224: Cauterwauling Homeless Cats Disturb Our Dreams (野猫叫春扰人清梦)

  1. My Chinese is very very rusty, but it sounds like part of the writer’s objection is cat proliferation:

    “猫从5月的两、三只,到现在它们又生下的七、八只,从小猫到它 们怀孕到它们生小猫,而现在这些小猫又要成大猫,又会思春,又要生小猫了。”

    I think his or her concern is actually valid; it’s certainly true that an increased cat population produces more noise. But there’s a clear answer to the writer’s question (“请问我该找谁帮我们解决问题呢?”).

    The writer (who is supposedly open to suggestions) most likely doesn’t understand that cat caretakers are her side (assuming those in her neighborhood are doing TNR). They don’t want more kittens on the street either. And there’s really no other way besides TNRM to keep the cat population under control.

    Maybe I’m overly optimistic, but I wonder if complainers might become more supportive (or at least tolerant) if they knew that TNRM volunteers are working for their benefit, too, not just the cats’.

  2. Isabel,
    We can hope! If you rea d the entry on Dawn’s blog , which I linked to in this post, you’ll see that CWS has drafted a response.

    *crossed fingers*

  3. Pingback: LianHe ZaoBao: AVA should resume sterilisation for strays (农粮局应恢复为流浪猫绝育 ) « Tipped Ear Clan