You know, if I could afford a flat of my own, one of the factors I WILL BE LOOKING AT SERIOUSLY is how the authorities in that area view homeless cat population management.
(Actually, if I could afford it, I would look to private housing, just to be rid of the stress and anxiety of HDB’s guillotine ruling on cats, but that’s moot since I can’t, and quite beside the point of this post. Moving on…)
By that definition alone, Tampines, in fact the Paris Ris Tampines GRC, and anywhere Mr Mah Bow Tan or Mr Vivian Balakrishnan stands or will stand, are out for me. The worst regret about the state of things in Mr Mah Bow Tan’s ward is that it’s not like there aren’t caregivers there. In fact, the cats there are as well -taken care of as other estates. But the chronology of the incident with trapped cats which Dawn handled as director of operations for cws, despite the town council’s agreement to work with caregivers, has left an indelible impression, not least because town councils supposedly work based on the mandate of the MP of the ward. Incidentally, Mr Mah Bow Tan is the Minister of National Development which has oversight of both the HDB and AVA.
The fact is that the Singapore homeless cat situation is not helped by the authorities’ enthusiastic funding and abetting of cat culling, which undermines caregivers’ hard work, to the detriment of active citizenry. Didn’t some guys in white tout the importance of community building, personal responsibility and grace, and active citizenry (which can’t be hot-housed nor cultivated to specifications)?
Active citizenry practitioners like us pay taxes like everyone else. We pay GST too. Out of the balance of our income, we again plow our hard-earned wages back into the economy by buying large quantities of cat food, contribute to the veterinary and transport industry through our tnrm efforts and post-sterilisation care of the cats. And of course a portion of the money transporters, food suppliers, vets earn goes again into taxes and GST. Why we even pay our conservancy fees and what do we get? Get treated like third-class residents by town councils and sometimes third-class citizens by MPs too (I know of one case personally). What’s more galling is how complainants are pandered to, no matter how ridiculous the complaint.
Ask not what the country can do for you, but what you can do for your country goes the saying, but hey, there’s only so much one can give before one has to ask what will it take for my country to reciprocate in kind? For do not doubt that the ball is in comatosis, in the court of the authorities and officialdom.
Active citizenry practitioners like us only hope, HOPE, that our active citizenry be treated for what IT IS, due consideration and respect be given – in short, reciprocated. To quote Dawn “Many residents who sterilise, manage and mediate just want an opportunity to work with the TC and the RC to help make the estate better for all.”
We do not want glory, in fact we stay out of the light as much as possible to avoid incurring the wrath of others (usually uncharitable and misguided residents) upon the cats – which can only mean the town council invoking kitty death in the form of pest control. We want to see cat blood and guts being spilled even less. Most certainly, caregivers DO NOT want more cats out on the streets for the AVA and town council to condemn, quite apart from the rampant abuse around the seemingly tranquil isle of Singapore – that’s why we sterilise. The only way someone could advocate sterilisation and yet want more cats on the streets would be, in my opinion, to rely heavily on split-personality disorder treatment.
Therefore, it is a very pleasant surprise to know Aljunied GRC MP, Dr George Yeo has deigned to listen and help constituents who are caring for 8 cats in his ward (<-Please click here and thank him). Yes, it’s not a permanent exemption from death for the kitties, and his support comes with a caveat that just seems a tad ominous and open to interpretation but well, he does have to leave himself an escape clause. I can live with that. Now let’s see if my own MP will stop being vaguish about supporting tec’s 10 year-old tnrm across 2 inhabited neighbourhoods and 1 busy public-access area.
At the same time, here’s an article in a Chinese paper about this:
Friday, February 27, 2009
Anyone who is bilingual, please provide a translation under “comments”. Thanks
From Dawn’s blog
Friday, February 27, 2009
Mr George Yeo
Some of you may have seen this blog post or heard about Mr George Yeo’s intervention to help some caregivers have their community cats released from the AVA. I understand there was an article in yesterday’s Lianhe Wanbao too.
It’s wonderful to see an MP take an interest in this matter and to realise that caregivers are mostly responsible and interested in solving problems. Mediation, as we all know, is really the way to go.
Please do drop Dr Yeo an email, or a post a comment on his blog to thank him for his help!
[EDITED 20090309 for clarity and grammar issues. EDITED 20090310 to include more ref links]