Thursday, January 25, 2007

ST (25-1-07)

Two more letters, one for and one against. Our letter has yet to be published and I hope they will do so.
HDB should replace ban with rules to enforce responsible pet ownership - nice letter.

HDB should ban cats and dogs in HDB flats

People still don't get it. They argue against cats and dogs in flats even though they have no real conception of what they're arguing about. Obviously if cats are to be let in flats, there needs to be guidelines to follow. What we are suggesting is that cats be allowed in flats but that they must be microchipped, sterilised and kept indoors at all times, with a limit to the number of cats each flat can keep.

Let's look at the arguments :-

1. Dirtying public property.

If pet cats are kept indoors how will they dirty public property? As for dog owners, how about fining the irresponsible owers for littering if they don't pick up?

2. Noise.

Again why are the cats in the corridor? Plus if they are sterilised, why would they be fighting, and if sterilised and indoors, WHOM would they be fighting with?

3. Smell.

Only if the flat is unhygenic which the owner should be fined for. Plus is he sure the smell is from cats or were the people in the flat just dirty? I'm not sure what 'reported' case (reported where?) he alludes to, but I can say I've gone by some filthy flats and the problem wasn't the cats (there were very few of them), it was the owner's inability to keep clean. Even after the cats were removed, the place still wasn't clean and still smelt, because the person just wasn't very capable of taking care of hygiene and resisted attempts to help clear the place out.

4. Disease.

Rabies has not been present in Singapore for more than 50 years. As for the cat scratch and faeces, how about not touching the cat or going around eating the faeces?

5. Animal abuse.

So because there are more reports of late of children being raped by their step-parents we should stop re-marriage? This holds even less water than the rest of the arguments. Maybe it's the fact that people are so removed from animals because the whole place is so urbanised that promotes abuse. Having more cats around would help the problem. In addition, is he saying people who want to adopt cats want to abuse them? or strangers? If it's the former, I doubt they would bother to sterilise, microchip and keep the cats indoors. If it's the latter, how will they get to your cat?

Incidentally, I could very easily make an argument based on these five points on why people should not be allowed in flats if I wanted to. For example :-

1. Dirtying public property.

People spit and leave soft cans all over the place. If we allow them in HDB estates, they're going to leave litter and dirty the whole place. Worse, some people urinate or vomit in the lifts and staircase landings. Sometimes they throw things out of their flat, including hair, paint cans, sanitary napkins and all kinds of other dirty objects.

2. Noise.

People are very noisy. Some people have mahjong or karaoke sessions till late and it's very loud. Others like to turn on their radio or television to deafening levels. Babies can cry shrilly in the middle of the night, waking up the neighbours. Sometimes people fight in the corridor or void deck causing loud noises!

3. Smell.

People are dirty. Some neighbours not only have their flats in an extremely dirty state, they smell horrible. Keeping the windows shut does not help. Occasionally they hoard so much junk, it's not just the smell, but the whole place is a firetrap that can go up in flames.

4. Disease.

People spread so many diseases - flu, chicken pox, avian flu, SARS, etc. We should clearly ban them from flats.

5. Abuse

There have been cases of rape in the papers, as well as elder abuse, maid abuse, fights and even murder. This can only be stopped if we make sure that we don't let people live next to each other.

HDB flats are meant for certain humans to stay in (ie. me) and hence we should ban all other people who do things I don't like.


Blogger Hai~Ren said...

*rolls eyes at the second letter*

25/1/07 9:53 AM  
Blogger calsifer said...

If only people like the second letter writer have the privilege of a one-to-one with you! We'd have a lot less clueless dogmatics to muddy the issue.

Number One Fan of Debate Dawn

25/1/07 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am really disturbed by the second letter.

However, I truly believe that we need some programmes to culticate the mentality of being a reponsible pet owners.

I live in private apt. I get upset every time I see dog poop left behind by some owners, because their bad behaviour will give non pro-animal residents to make things difficult for us.


25/1/07 10:01 AM  
Blogger vegancat said...

I think it is good for second letter to be published. It just shows how foolish and irrational some people like this man, who do not like animals, can be. A great one for sensible rebuttal.

25/1/07 10:05 AM  
Anonymous autumnpiglet said...

hahahah. Great response Dawn!

25/1/07 10:06 AM  
Blogger budak said...

This guy is an ass. He puts up a strawman (clearly he hasn't bothered to read through the earlier letters) of cat/dog-keeping in HDB that simply does not gell with the facts nor is logical. Unfortunately, probably a good number of people share his notion of animals as something antithetical to human welfare. People like him put their hatred for animals well above a desire for the public good (e.g. balancing the rights of petowners and non-petowners) and finding workable solutions (e.g. TNRM), but use the latter as a cover for their opinions because to admit otherwise would expose their sheer unreasonableness.

25/1/07 10:06 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

G I agree - the problem is sometimes how to GET to those people who should be coming to the talks. Often the people who come for responsible pet ownership talks are ALREADY responsible pet owners. It's the people who aren't coming who probably should be.

Should there be a nationwide campaign? That would be best but I don't see it as being on a wide enough scale to sink in even if the AVA plans to focus on it.

In the interim, perhaps regulation and guidelines might help so people know exactly what they should or should not be doing. One possibility is that in true Singaporean style we fine them if they don't comply :)

Thanks Calsifer :)

25/1/07 10:07 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

budak makes a good point and one I've wondered at too - why do some people somehow feel threatened by animal welfare? Do they somehow think it will detract from their own welfare? It's a false dilema - ie if people treat that cat well, maybe I'm going to be less important? Why can't people treat animals better and also treat other people with more respect too?

Vegancat is right - anyone want to write in? :)

25/1/07 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,

I just realised that my previous comment has so many grammatical mistakes. I think I was feeling very wound up then hahahah

I don't think it can be a nation wide campaign, I guess it has to start small and through positive examples (heh Singaporeans tend to conform....), like what is being done for TNRM.

Of course, there will always be some recalcitrant pet owners but we have to start some where especially with the younger ones.

The way we are (selfish mentality - it is fine as long as not in my house) and cat poop aside - it is no wonder that Singapore is getting dirtier.

May be I have to talk to my condo to start some where


25/1/07 10:33 AM  
Anonymous autumnpiglet said...

I can write in.

I'll draft a response and email it to Dawn. And then let me know what email addy to send it in to.

25/1/07 10:33 AM  
Anonymous autumnpiglet said...

Oh,if I wasn't clear. I meant that I can write in to ST.

I'll email my draft to Dawn so that she can see if I've left anything out. Her rebuttal here is fantastic.

25/1/07 10:37 AM  
Anonymous mrs budak said...

Hahaha... Dawn we have the same idea about humans living in HDB flats. Have written to the ST over the 2nd letter:

25/1/07 10:42 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

G - sounds good, like they say, think global, act local! :) Let us know if we can help.

I think positive examples are really good - and the best thing is when people are convinced and talk to their friends. One person I know didn't believe in sterilisation, and then was convinced to get his cats sterilised - now he tells other people they should do it. Another lady thought sterilisation would hurt her cats - she was convinced to sterilise some and now is to happier because they're healthier and happier! She's a proponent of TNRM now.

25/1/07 11:14 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Autumnpiglet - I'm sure whatever you write will be good, no need to run it by me :)

Mrs Budak - great! Am going to read it now!

25/1/07 11:15 AM  
Anonymous autumnpiglet said...

Read your response Mrs Budak!

Love it. The 2nd one of course. ;o)

25/1/07 11:20 AM  
Blogger iWooiBlog said...

I have wriiten in to ST Forum to "refute and rebut" that Mr. Kuan's letter. Hopefully ST Forum will publish.

Obviuosly, not only is he not a cat lover, he is definitely not a dog lover also. His letter may result in a back-slash from dog lovers/owners also, then Mr. Kuan will see!! He is definitely no animal lover!!


25/1/07 11:27 AM  
Anonymous ej said...

Excellent point by Mdm Gina Ho:
'Should he count himself lucky to be alive and adopted by us? No, we count ourselves lucky to have him; he gives us countless hours of entertainment, lots of love and joy.'
Only if more people looks at cats in a positive light than avoiding and getting rid of them.

About the second letter, the writer do not the ban of cats lifted in HDB by highlighting the problems created by dogs in HDB.

Yes, Dawn's rebuttals are fantastic.HOOMANS are the real culprits, counting irresponsible pet-owners among them.

You go! autumnpiglet, with the write-in to ST!

25/1/07 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given a pictorial psychological test, Mr Kuan will smell shit, poo
and hear noises. His reaction is based on his own hatred, negative values of the animal kingdom and perceive the world should be devoid of companion animals for flat dwellers. So much hate in a man cannot be good for society.

His death will not be caused by cats or dogs but causes related to his own unhappiness within himself.
Such a man has no place for others, let alone hope to keep the society clean and healthy.

25/1/07 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The second letter writer should hide in an airtight compartment, smell his own polluted air and enjoy his own germs.

Bring on the animals, we need more of them.

25/1/07 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone should write about how disgusting we human beings are:-
1) We have proper toilets to poo and pee, yet look at the state of our public toilets! Disgusting is an understatement.
2) We spit with the pre-spit guttering sound in public!
3) We throw sanitary pads out when we have a rubbish chute right in our homes!
4) We makes all kinds of noise on our floors, oblivious to the fact that they are ceilings a floor down.
5) We sing Karaoke like everyone in the estate love our voice!

And we said cats are dirty?? and noisy???

25/1/07 12:59 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Great to see so many people have written in and so quickly too!

ej- yes I loved that part of Ms. Ho's letter too.

Anonymous - how true!

25/1/07 1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A woman who is pregnant and experiencing morning sickness is adverse to all kinds of smell, even a human's BO.
Mr Kuan is ignorant of so many facts yet he thinks he is an authority on dogs and cats.

25/1/07 2:05 PM  
Blogger auntie p said...

This is obviously an ignorant, rubbish man sprouting nonsense. His name does ring a bell. I'm wondering is he the same man who wrote to the press previously and proudly proclaim that he had trapped over 200 cats with AVA's loan trap, and which subsequently led to his 5 mins of fame on a biased local tv programme?

25/1/07 2:40 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

auntie p - nope different man.

25/1/07 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was 5 minutes of satanic appearance on TV. One of the worst programmes ever produced, Diana is answerable to her own show, can't simply escape from hurting so many caregivers and community cats.

Thank God Dawn is not in the trash bag.

25/1/07 3:02 PM  
Blogger vegancat said...

I think the pregnant or post-natal woman was locking herself in her flat because of the traditional practice of confinement. I have seen such women who did not wash their hair and bathe for one month. Any smell-intact human and cat will run miles away when such woman appraoches!

25/1/07 3:19 PM  
Blogger Profpig ^@^ said...

Many cats that I know are cleaner than human! How dare he!

25/1/07 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sister used to live in a HBD flat below a neighbour who produces noises on his floor throughout the day and night. She said she understood what it was like going through a Chinese water torture because she lived in agony waiting for the next thundering boom on the ceiling. Complaints after complaints to TC, HDB, MP all with no results. She waited for the 2 years period to be up and sold off that flat. She asked why the authorities could "cull" her neighbours at the same ease that authorities cull the cats for silly complaints.

25/1/07 7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Humans who are cruel to animals, don't get upset with them, they are as good as dead.

25/1/07 8:41 PM  

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