1. The manpower cost, time and legal fee involved will be way way more than the $1,000. Is our overly paid civil servants too free or what?
2. If this case happens to PAP-ruling council, will the NEA officers would have just “closed one eye”? Askmelah am sure that this won’t be the first or the last offenses by any town council, ruling PAP TC or otherwise, but why picked on Aljunied TC?
3. If the town council’s mandate has been to take care of maintenance and upkeeping of the public amenities in an HDB estate, why can’t they have the power to lease out a small public place under their charge is indeed troubling to comprehend?
4. The fair, which featured five stalls selling festive decorations, cookies and sweets, fruits such as pomelo, flowers and assorted potted plants, amounted to a ‘temporary fair’. Mr Tai Ji Choong, who is NEA’s director of the Environmental Health Department, said the town council event constituted a breach of Section 35 of the EPHA. The requirement for a permit for these temporary events is such that “there would not be disamenities (which include noise nuisance, pest infestation, food hygiene issues and disruption to pedestrian flow) caused to the community, including shopkeepers operating in that community”. Err, the reason for needing a license for an auspicious fair is to prevent causing nuisance to public? Askmelah thought this event is a family oriented happy event, No?
5. The TC did write in a few times but was rejected a few times showed that the civil servants are being difficult with opposition TC. The TC’s chairman must be so frustrated with the red tape that she decided to proceed to host the event without a permit, it shows guts as compared to the follow-the-law civil servants and PAPpies.
Askmelah’s conclusion if this is not dirty politics and politically motivated, I really dun know what is.]
CNY fair did not need permit: Town council
SINGAPORE — The Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) did not need a permit to organise a Chinese New Year fair in January, its defence lawyer argued yesterday.
Mr Peter Low was speaking on the first day of a trial in which the town council is fighting a summons for holding an alleged illegal trade fair at the Hougang Central Hub.
The town council is charged with committing the offence under Section 35 of the Environmental Public Health Act (EPHA).
It is alleged to have organised the fair without a permit issued by the National Environment Agency.
NEA prosecutors said the fair, comprising five stalls selling items such as festive cookies, fruits and potted plants, amounted to a “temporary fair” — thus requiring a licence under the EPHA regulations.
However, Mr Low argued that under the Town Councils Act sub-section 2(1)(b)(iii), the fair, which used common property, fell under social or communal functions, such as holding mini-fairs, which did not require a permit.
NEA prosecutor Issac Tan countered that the sub-section cited by Mr Low deals with fees imposed for using common property and was not related to licensing issues.
The district court heard that last December, the town council was told by the NEA that a permit was required to hold the fair.
The town council subsequently submitted several documents for its permit application. On Jan 9 — the day the fair started — the NEA informed AHPETC that its application for a permit was incomplete and could not be processed.
The next day, the NEA wrote to the town council, warning it to stop the fair until a permit was issued or enforcement action would be taken.
However, the town council did not reply and went ahead with the fair, the court heard.
If found guilty, AHPETC — which is represented in court by its chairman Sylvia Lim — could be fined up to S$1,000.