In 1991, after Mr Low Thia Khiang was elected by the residents of Hougang as their MP, he observed a sharp rise in the indiscriminate disposal of bulky items and furniture at the lift lobby and common areas of Hougang estate in the run-up to the Chinese New Year period.
As it is not auspicious to clean one’s house during the festivities proper, Chinese households begin spring cleaning earlier and Mr Low wanted to initiate a better system for the cleaners to manage the regular cleaning work along with this additional work in the run-up to CNY.
He devised a policy in Hougang SMC which the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) has continued to this day for the convenience of all residents.
Chairman of AHTC and Workers’ Party Member of Parliament, Pritam Singh, said in his Facebook how a rabid fan group of the ruling party had misrepresented this arrangement in his constituency, and had instead blamed the town council cleaners for leaving a mess at the bin centre to rot “for weeks”.
The AHTC Chairman said that he messaged the town council staff for their side of the story as soon as he was informed about the false post, and in about half an hour he received some pictures and a reply.
“The cleaners were breaking and clearing bulky items into skip tanks. This is done almost on a daily basis during this period. The Bin Centre area is always cleared everyday and not as reported,” the town council staff said.
The MP in his post compared the rabid Facebook group with another website which Minister of Social & Family Development, Tan Chuan Jin, highlighted had misrepresented the comments of a NUS academic on the CPF policy.