The appalling “not in my backyard” (NIMBY) attitude

“Such engagement on the building of eldercare facilities will attract only the noisy minority. What about the quiet majority who do not mind having the nursing home, or who are supportive of it, like me?”- Yeo Chiat Wei

“How sad! There are citizens amongst us who do not appreciate such priceless facilities for our own aged parents, relatives and friends living amongst us. There are citizens who want to fully utilize such facilities but refuse to live near them fearing that their property prices might be affected!”Gin Tai

It is getting more than a little bit out of hand and sometimes fuelled by the Kiasu attitude of the MPs to accommodate such nonsense. We are not talking about building a nuclear plant or a graveyard here, the latest episode is the residents in Woodlands Street 83 petitioned against the setting up of an eldercare centre at the void decks of Blocks 860 and 861. Some disingenuous residents complained of potential impact on the property prices, the possible rises in death cases, the parking woe etc are plain rubbish. But one resident has a point, there is no lack of vacant places everywhere, why take away their little spaces left, for once I agree and the Government has a lot to explain why they left so much vacant spaces empty for decades while encroaching citizens’ fast disappearing communal space.


[Updated 27 Aug 2012] One parent was angry his child was given homework during the school holidays, while another was upset that his child was not. An elderly resident urged the Government to quickly build an elder care facility in his estate “before more people object”, while a young man wanted an entire school to be relocated because it was too noisy. These are some situations Education Minister Heng Swee Keat has encountered since he entered politics last year. He said: “Some … make me worry; some lift my spirit. But each raises an important question about our future. In the fight for space, will our elderly be pushed out? Will our young succeed here, or do they have to emigrate? Will we have citizens who seek to contribute, or will they just advance their own interests?” (Source: Todayonline “National conversation must be inclusive”)

“Our void decks are fast disappearing, and along with it the feeling of open space… there’s also the issue of overcrowding, which leads to an increase in social tension.”-Colin Tan


“After years of the Government championing asset enhancement in the value of flats, owners have bought into the idea that their homes are a source of investment for monetary gain.”Wong Say Ming

“The old folk will be groaning right into my home”. – Bernard Lau, who lives in Block 182 Bishan



Other ridiculous episodes of the “not in my backyard” fiascos include:

– Aug 2012: At Ang Mo Kio St 52, some residents of a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) project are upset over plans to build a BTO project less than 50 metres from their development. some of the residents at Park Central – who obtained the keys to their homes less than a year ago – include the dust and noise that would be generated, and whether there are sufficient amenities, including car park lots, to cater to another cluster of flats. (see Park Central, a sign of self-centredness?)

– May 2012: The MOH plans to build a six-to-eight storey nursing home in Bishan St 13. A group of residents who live in the three blocks directly facing the proposed site in front of Block 181 have petitioned against the plan, citing various reasons such has Blockage of airflow, overcongestion and too near a school. (see also “Majority of residents support nursing home plan“)

– May 2012: Residents at Jalan Batu, an estate near Mountbatten Road, raised their concerns over a proposed expansion of an existing daily rehabilitation centre at a dialogue session with their Member of Parliament, Mr Lim Biow Chuan, in May. (Source)

– Apr 2012: Some HDB residents near Little India want to bar foreign workers (of Indian descent) from loitering in their void decks (Source).  Askmelah’s Note: they don’t call Little India for nothing. These residents want the prime location yet don’t want the nuisance. They should not have applied to buy these public houses from the Government in the first place and there are many Singaporeans will be dying to take their places (and the “nuisance”). As the writer rightly pointed out: “it was not so long ago when upper-crust clubs in Singapore displayed “No dogs and Chinese” signs, which we rightly find appalling today. Putting up permanent barriers to keep foreigners away from void decks is just as abominable.”

– 2012: Some Toh Yi residents opposed the building of studio apartments for the elderly in their estate.

– 2011: A (or all?) water tank was replaced where a dead body was found. I wonder how if the Bedok residents also campaign to clean the entire reservoir now that there are more than 7 deaths found in the last one year?

– 2011: Residents of the Maplewoods condominium also came together to oppose the siting of a launch shaft for the construction of the Downtown Line in front of their property.

– 2008 – over reaction to the building of a dormitory for foreign workers in Serangoon Garden estate. The episode could have caused the downfall of a minister and MP of that estate Ms Lim Hwee Hua.

– 2007 – No funeral parlours in Sin Min estate.

– A few years ago, a proposal to build a communal hospital was protested by residents in a housing estate (Ang Mo Kio?).


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