Cats in Flats
To Revive the Kampung Spirit HDB has to put its own ear to the ground and scrutinise its own Heart
A letter in today's online Forum about the HDB rule.
Someone wrote in yesterday to ask if it was true that cats were not allowed in flats - this person said that they did not want to break the law, and if so, he or she didn't want to get a cat, though he or she had been thinking about it. It just goes to show - the law penalises people who WANT to follow the law and are responsible, whereas people who allow their cats to wander do not get into trouble, as was seen in the article in the New Paper yesterday.
I had actually gone down to see the flat in question because the Town Council requested we go down. No one answered though I knocked and knocked and a neighbour told me that they make it a point not to open the door though she was certain someone was inside. I left a note and they never called me back. I was also told by a neighbour that when they do get a warning from the HDB, they just dump all their cats downstairs and that they had just done so recently prior to my visit. From what I understand, the TC and the HDB also went down with similar results. Clearly these aren't responsible individuals - after all, surely the cats aren't the ones throwing defecation down at their neighbours' window sills.
HDB however does not care what happens to the cats after the fact, nor if these cats are dumped into the estate as long as they're not in the flat. This is a very short term view and doesn't actually address the problem - the problem is the owners and the fact that they are irresponsible, not the cats per se. Removing the cats does not make the owners more responsible - what should be penalised is the owners' behaviour, not the ownership of the cats! If not, it does not encourage responsible ownership but does the converse. In addition, it causes a problem of abandonment in the estate.
Interestingly, one-third of the random people polled wanted the rule to be enforced, but another one-third were KEEPING cats in flats. Also interestingly, and as I suspected, the fine has never been enforced against anyone.