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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Getting to the bottom of the trashcan

The National Environment Agency (NEA) recently launched a new campaign for 'anti-littering' that focuses on hawker centers.

In the news report, the NEA 'hopes to find out why people are still leaving litter everywhere when there are bins nearby through a littering behaviour study'.

Singapore has come very far in its Keep-Singapore-Squeaky-Clean campaigns, but its overly-sanitized approach has resulted in a negative consequence which has got attitude to blame.

Think about it: Who does the cleaning of tables after we eat at the hawker centers? The ubiquitous banglahs.

Does the common singaporean appreciate the efforts made by the banglahs who clean up after them? HOW OFTEN DO YOU THANK THE PERSON CLEANING YOUR TABLE?

No. In fact, almost all if not all singaporeans EXPECT the banglahs to clean after them.

In effect, nobody 'litters'. They just leave their 'shit' around for someone else to clean after them. Littering is when you consciously throw your 'shit' everywhere. Leaving it on the table for the banglahs to clear is not considered 'littering'.

I just personally find the whole concept of getting a 'foreign worker' cleaning up after someone is rather racist, degrading and lack of respect for fellow human-being. What are we teaching our young ones?

So how now, NEA?

Solution is simple.

1. Hire less banglahs. In fact, stop the hiring. No more cleaning uncles and aunties.

2. Then launch a 'Clean up YOURSELF' campaign. This teaches one to be considerate to the next person using the table.

3. Provide napkins and tissue papers. Ever noticed Singapore has a severe shortage of such cleaningware? Either that, or our food vendors are ultra-stingy on such items. NEA should make it compulsory for the provision of tissue papers and napkins for cleaning hands/mouths and tables. NOT FOR RESERVATION OF SEATS, dammit.

Forget about the draconian anti-littering campaign. Who's going to enforce it?

Let's just educate and move on to a more gracious society. Leave our Singaporeans with no choice but to learn how to clean up after themselves.


Anonymous said...

i have a hard time dealing with some acquintances who persist in throwing trash out of their windows while they are driving. these are not uneducated people. they are working professionals who own their own cars; one of them even drives a convertible. it is very disturbing to see a young, educated professional toss a plastic drink bottle out of his open-top car. believe me, i've tried telling them off before and i was both ignored and shot down. all i want to know is where the hell did their civic-mindedness and manners go?? i am this close to reporting them to the police/nea. *frustrated*

Chelonia Munnster said...

Hi Anon,
Did they even have civic-mindedness and manners in the first place? Come on, they don't even possess something called 'basic respect', responsibility and consideration.
You can be sure that these arseholes will be bad bosses - simply coz they cannot be bothered about fellow human beings from the next bottom rung onwards! I'm sure your 'acquintances' were brought up with a silver spoon in their mouths with nannies tending to their privies everytime they shit. Lack of respect is one big turn-off, and having a 'rich, educated' litterer doesn't make him/her any more respectable or worth the efforts!

A litterer is a litterer regardless of race, religion, gender, education level or financial status.