Is Singapore getting dirtier?

Posted in the Singapore Forum


Singapore, Singapore

#1 Jun 10, 2013
Little India residents' woes

Some foreign workers who gather at Little India defecate and urinate in public. They also get drunk and fight in void decks and leave behind litter that attracts rats.-TNP
Gan Ling Kai

Mon, Jun 20, 2011
The New Paper

THEY get drunk, then some fight, defecate in carparks and sleep on the roads, causing traffic hazards.

They leave behind their litter, which attracts rats and cockroaches.

And some residents in Little India have had enough of such behaviour by some foreign workers hanging out there on weekends.

They told The New Paper on Sunday (TNPS) that these long-standing problems have worsened, and they want to see a change in the situation.

Mr Mohamed Khwajah, 37, who has lived in Block 668, Chander Road for 12 years, said: "These workers gather at our void deck and stairwells.

"After they get intoxicated, some of them fight. My wife and children are afraid to come home alone at night."

Mr Khwajah's seven-year-old son, the youngest of three children, said: "I am very scared when they shout.


•Casino flooded by foreign workers
•Foreign workers bathe in water tanks after sex
•Reduction in illegally housed foreign workers

At night when I sleep, I hear a 'wave' coming from downstairs."

The boy was referring to the din from thousands of foreign workers, mostly from the Indian sub-continent, thronging the area late into the night on weekends.

On a typical Sunday night, provision shops sell beer by the crates. Angry motorists blare their horns, upset by the jaywalking foreign workers.

The crowd finally thins after midnight. But scores of these workers still linger in groups, drinking till the wee hours. Some sleep at the void decks or walkways till the sun rises.

Last Sunday night, several men, who had obviously had a drop too much, shouted and kicked the gates of shops and residents' bicycles.

Mr Khwajah, who runs a mini-mart at West Coast, said: "Sometimes, the workers urinate at the carpark near my home or even (defecate) behind the cars."


The workers also leave their rubbish along the corridors.

"This neighbourhood is infested with rats. A rat ran into my home recently. Discarded beer cans collect water and may cause dengue problems," he added.

His neighbour, Madam Parvathy A Ramoo, 66, a housewife, said: "On weekends, we cannot get taxis because many drivers don't want to come here. It is just too crowded."


•Casino flooded by foreign workers
•Foreign workers bathe in water tanks after sex
•Reduction in illegally housed foreign workers

Over the last few years, they had to call the police on several occasions when the workers got rowdy.

The police would turn up and ask the workers to leave the premises. But the solution was temporary.

"We understand this is Little India and these workers need a place to gather," said Mr Khwajah.

"But how can I be sympathetic towards them when they invade our privacy? If the authorities want to keep these workers here, maybe they should move us out."


Singapore, Singapore

#2 Jun 10, 2013
A worker at Shri Thamarai Enterprises, a mini-mart at Block 668, Chander Road, said its customers on weekends are mainly foreign workers.

This 43-year-old, who declined to be named, said the workers, who mostly buy soft drinks, beer and whisky, are "good for business".

He felt that most residents were used to foreign workers gathering there.

But Mr Baskar, a staff supervisor at a coffee shop, was less welcoming.

"They get 'mabuk'(drunk in Malay) by about 9pm. We have three dustbins in our shop, but it is hard to control our customers. Some of them vomit on the floor and I have to clean it up," he said.

Several foreign workers TNPS spoke to said the troublemakers were in the minority.


Mr Siva, 32, a construction worker from India who has been here for four years, said some workers quarrel after some drinks but this was rare.

"We come to Singapore to work, not to give problems," said Mr Siva,who sends half of his $1,000 monthly salary home to his wife and two children. He spends the rest on food, including $50 a month on his weekly gatherings.

He meets about 50 friends working in different parts of Singapore in front of Block 668, Chander Road every Sunday night.

All of them are from the same town in southern India.

"(Little India) is our 'village' here. Where (else) can we go?" said Mr Siva.

His friend, Mr Bakkiyaraj, 27, also a construction worker who earns about $400 fortnightly, said: "We are peaceful. We just want to have some beer and makan (to eat in Malay) with our friends."

Dr Russell Heng, 59, the president of Transient Workers Count Too, a charity that helps migrant workers, said: "No one, whether a Singaporean or foreigner, should break the law by littering or fighting.

"But we have to be clear that the focus here is to ensure proper use of public space. It is not a nationality issue. There should not be any discrimination against foreign workers."

He believes that public education is the key to resolve the residents' complaints.

The Residents' Committee can consider giving out pamphlets, written in the workers' native languages, to remind them to keep the place clean, Dr Heng said.

"Perhaps electronic gates, with access given only to residents, can be fixed at the void decks of these blocks," he added.

Situation better, but can be improved

THE issues associated with foreign workers congregating at Little India are long-standing, Moulmein Constituency Office director Adrian Tan wrote in an e-mail.

He was responding to our queries sent to Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew, 49, a Member of Parliament for Moulmein-Kallang GRC.

Mr Tan said: "Little India has been the most popular leisure area for foreign workers of Indian and Bangladeshi origin for many years. It is unavoidable that a large number of them will congregate in this area on their off-days.

"Mr Lui had, very shortly after he was first elected to Parliament in 2006, identified this as a significant disamenity to the residents.

"Since then, he has worked closely with the Moulmein grassroots organisations and the various government agencies to implement new initiatives to improve the situation."

One such initiative championed by Mr Lui is the daily deployment of auxiliary police patrols around Little India since February 2009, said Mr Tan.

"While the presence of these auxiliary police officers cannot prevent foreign workers from gathering in Little India, they have been taking stringent enforcement action on a daily basis against all offences (described by the residents)."

Mr Tan added that the situation since then has improved, "although areas for improvement still remain".

As of last December, foreign workers make up 36 per cent of Singapore's workforce.

There were 871,000 Work Permit holders and 98,000 S Pass holders (those with mid-level skills).

Singapore, Singapore

#3 Feb 7, 2014
Littering problem in Paya Lebar

Published on Jul 24, 2013

IN THE last two years, the area around Paya Lebar MRT station, including City Plaza shopping centre, has become a favourite hangout for foreign workers, especially on weekends.

However, this has given rise to a littering problem, especially at the vacant grass patches. Groups of people would sit on the grass and eat, then leave behind their rubbish or throw it into the drain.

I have even noticed fights among the foreign workers.

The National Environment Agency should provide bigger rubbish bins and place them in more prominent locations.

Also, the police should step up their patrols around the area. This would definitely reduce the littering problem and curb disorderly behaviour.

Tan Chee Sean

Singapore, Singapore

#4 Oct 9, 2014
Foodcourt at Marina Bay Sands shuts temporarily after cockroach incident
Published on Oct 9, 2014

By Bryna Singh

SINGAPORE - A foodcourt at Marina Bay Sands has been closed temporarily for thorough cleaning, after a photograph of cockroaches patronising one of its stalls went viral online.

This happened after netizen Kovit Ang posted a picture on Facebook on Monday afternoon showing a troop of five cockroaches at the foodcourt, 1983 - A Taste of Nanyang, with one of the cockroaches just inches away from a piece of fried meat that was being sold at one of the stalls.

The Straits Times contacted Mr Ang, 41, who said his "hair stood on end" when he saw the crawlies.

"It was such a joke though, because the cockroaches were so obvious and yet people were still ordering from the stall," said the fashion stylist, adding that he walked straight out of the foodcourt after snapping a picture of the sight.

See more at:

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Singapore Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
The Cristallo Showflat Hotline 61001778 16 hr PropertySalesSing... 1
Compassionate Leadership 18 hr joe wigan 1
Potong Pasir Condos 23 hr newlaunchsingapore 1
GDP is not a good measure (Feb '11) Fri obsolete GDP 6
Are children too stressed out in Singapore? (Sep '12) Fri runner 7
Online Shopping in Singapore Thu cameralicious 3
Asean summit begins Thu Hooogle It 27

Singapore People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE