Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Nuisance and the HDB ruling

Michelle and I were discussing the HDB reply this afternoon and discussing what best to do next.

I do think that there will be a change in policy once there is a mindset change, and one issue among many others is the fact that they are worried that there will be more complaints. Who will ensure the cats are sterilised and microchipped? The HDB will probably say that they cannot spare the manpower.

Simple - if the Residents' Committees or CCs can be roped in (and we did have a CDC that offered to do a pilot project on this but it was turned down by the HDB), anyone who wants to register a cat can just trot down with the cat's sterilisation and microchip certificates, show it to the RC or CC person and the cat will be deemed to be registered. Now if there is a problem with a particular unit, the HDB can have the details faxed over and then they can go and inspect the unit. If the owner of the unit did not register, then he or she could be fined. If not, then the HDB can proceed to look into the case and see if there is a nuisance which is what they say they do now anyway.

The problem now is that while the HDB says that they only look into the case when there is a problem of 'nuisance', quite often there isn't! The HDB officer will then either hope the complainant does not insist the matter be pursued, or else, they are going to have to tell the responsible owners they have to get rid of the cats, even if there is no nuisance, just because they own a cat.

You might ask me why someone would complain when there is no nuisance present - all I have to is point at Mr "Look the Lizards are Mating" as an example. Some people think everything is a nuisance when frankly, it shouldn't be any of their business if it is something that happens in your own flat and it doesn't cause an inconvenience to someone else.

Now look at it this way, if I happen to play loud music at night in my flat, or I like to throw food out of my unit (one resident complained about this) when I'm washing my plates, should I then be banned from playing music or eating or washing?

So how can the act of owning a cat be wrong? By all means, prosecute if there IS a nuisance - but don't penalise people who have done nothing wrong other than wanting to own a pet cat.


Blogger vegancat said...

During the SARS panic, a friend of mine who lives with cats received a letter from the town council because a flat in the opposite block had seen her cats! She was given notice to get rid of the cats. She did.....temporarily..in a boarding facility. Then she installed thick drapes over her windows and smuggled the cats back. She was all ready to sell her flat should the town council write to her again. Fortunately the drapes worked and the SARS panic passed over.
Do we who live with cats in HDB flats have to suffer in silence? And tolerate noise from barking approved dogs when our quiet companions are illegal and at the mercy of neurotics?

25/7/06 10:40 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Not just during the SARS panic either - someone came to us with the same problem!

26/7/06 12:01 AM  
Anonymous imp said...

it makes my blood boil when they throw the word 'policy' around.

and it seems to me genuine feedback and CONSTRUCTIVE feedback don't get the attention promised. BECAUSE it's policy.

26/7/06 12:04 AM  
Blogger budak said...

There are also people who complain about the monkeys in the reserve parks and want them to be culled.

26/7/06 10:46 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

And birds who sing too loudly. And all kinds of things.

26/7/06 1:43 PM  
Blogger vegancat said...

I wonder why if anything else..we are asked to be tolerant but when it has to do with cats, it is culling by default.
My sister moved to a flat in delta area. She thought she has a bargain buy - flat in mint condition coz owners didn't stay there. She was soon to find out why! A cranky father and son would quarrel at any time of the day and night, banging doors and throwing objects! Then my sister found out that this had been going on for > 10 years...MPs seen,police makes almost nightly trip..but the NUISANCE continues. Now she is selling the flat...good luck to next owner!

26/7/06 2:02 PM  
Anonymous belle said...

dogs & birds make noise but most cats don't ... i think cats are more suitable as house-pets than dogs & birds, since they're quieter ...

however they must be trained to stay indoors as they have a tendency to wander ... ive trained mine and it wasnt easy ... maybe thats why alot singaporeans are finding it hard to keep their pet cats indoors, and this is probably what HDB is afraid of ... that - if they legalise keeping cats in flats, alot ppl will start taking cats in, but later let them wander around the corridors ? our govt and its stat boards are well-known for under-estimating the capability/intelligence of singaporeans, and sometimes i don't blame them ...

i have a question here - my 11 year old cat was neutered 10 years ago - then, the vet didnt clip her ear-tip and ive lost her sterilisation cert - how to register her with the RC/CC without the cert ?

my younger cat (one & a half yrs) was neutered 6 months ago ... i hope i can still find the vet's papers somewhere in my drawer ... his ear-tip has been clipped ...

29/7/06 2:46 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Hi Belle - your vet should still have the records - and they can write you a letter to certify that they've been sterilised.

29/7/06 2:49 AM  
Anonymous belle said...

wow dawn, thanx for replying in the middle of the night ... thot i m the only person awake at this hour ... :-)

i can't even remember which vet i took her to 10 years ago ... in some ulu part of clementi thats all i remember ... :-(

my younger cat - no problem, the surgery was quite recent ...

29/7/06 3:04 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Belle - you might be able to get a vet to examine her and see if there's some way to tell if she's sterilised. Alternatively, they may have to open her up unfortunately. Anyway, this is all speculation at the moment because HDB hasn't even agreed to meet us at the moment :)

29/7/06 3:11 AM  

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