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Not in my backyard

I refer to the TODAY’s Commentary, “'Not in my backyard' — when some groups can protest more loudly, the most vulnerable ones suffer” (Jan 25, 2024).

A few good points from the article are worth to be probed further and discussed.

In December 2023, the announcement of plans by The National Environment Agency (NEA) to build a new columbarium in Mandai was really snookered by some nearby residents.

While most Singaporeans accept that spaces for the dead (such as Crematorium and Columbarium), spaces for Elder Care Facilities (various old folks homes and nursing homes) and spaces for foreign workers (dormitories) are needed, but many do not want them built close to where we live.

Thus, the thought and attitude of having ‘not in my backyard’ further identifies the selfishness, self-centerness, prejudice and ignorance of the human nature.

Limited choices, difficult but foresighted decision Singapore has been facing the issue of land scarcity (merely a total land area of 734.3 square kilometres) and shortages of natural resources, hence, it opts to be fully commercialised, industrialised and relying upon its export-oriented economy for its survival and prosperity. Inevitably, it is heavily compact and urbanised.

Similarly, Singapore is lacking of spaces for the usage of graveyards. Thus, the relevant authority has to strongly advocate the importance of crematorium funeral for the replacement of burial funeral. Also, the Government has to extend the present Mandai crematorium and columbarium facility to its neighbouring areas.

Conflict between public good and self-interest. If we buy the arguments from the objectors who cite apprehensions about the negative effects of new developments such as increased noise, traffic congestion and loss of open spaces as the reasonable excuses, then we would set a bad example for the people to use this incident as an excuse for avoidance with any future similar or related developments.

For example:
Isn’t it fair and reasonable for people who live in private residential properties and HDB flats near Changi Airport, Changi Prison Complex and Drug Rehabilitation Center (DRC)/Addiction Treatment Center to complain, rant or whine for the similar situations or reasons as mentioned above?

In short, it is quite reasonable and effective for labelling an act as Nimby-ism is similarly an accusation of individuals being narrowly self-interested and harming the broader public good, because they oppose the siting of undesired facilities near their homes.

 

Teo Kueh Liang (Mr)

 

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READER COMMENTS BELOW

6 Responses to “Not in my backyard”

  • Hear words, watch action:

    If and when they build one in Bukit Timah area, Avenue X, then we believe.

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  • opposition dude:

    We have gone through this before when useless piece of shit Khaw was HDB minister. The fracas over building a columbrium in, Sengkang was it? Residents complained real loud about it and he then said no columbarium. Seeing as how pantang people can be it’s understandable why people do not want to live near the deceased.

    Same arguments were made then about the NIMBY syndrome, they even ran a newspaper report on those old HDB blocks at Sin Ming. Some people countered this by saying if we are to libe near a columbarium then why don’t we build one in some private estate, near GCB or even better, next to a minister’s house? Not surprisngly ministers all kept real quiet about it.

    It’s all PAP’s fault for constantly building BTOs on forested land and also to the lack of rural areas remaining on the island. 5.9 million on the island in the last report if you remember, we can say hello to 6.5 million and above before 2030 if PAP are still in charge. And where are we going to somehow magically find more land to build even more public and private housing together with any future columbariums?

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  • rice:

    Oh,Mandai?
    Home of Ah Meng.
    Well,why not build the facilities on Sentosa ; after it was called Pulau Belakang MATI previously?
    Guess the souls would enjoy SENTOSA(PEACE).
    Will the rich resident$ there mind???
    Everything and ANYthing in ordinary sgs’ backyards but the rich are UNTOUCHABLE!
    ITS OK FOR SOME PEOPLE TO TALK COCK.

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  • Sporeans Keep Govt Employed:

    Every minute adobe flash pop up ask you to update.

    Click on it and it directs you to shopee.

    Tech: Already banned Shopee and now they piggyback using Adobe? How despicable this Shopee. Will iform the advertising network about this. If you see this again, just “X” to close it.

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  • Sporeans Keep Govt Employed:

    Shopee sellers have this bad habit of sending wrong size, wrong items, etc. Some don’t even send AT ALL.

    Then you have to apply for a refund. Shopee says must get sellers’ approval first. I mean what the hell?

    If you paid with Paynow, the refund goes into to your PayLah. Then you have to transfer the money back to your bank account.

    Yes the Adobe ad keeps popping up several times and I have to X several times before I can type this.

    Sporeans Keep Govt Employed:
    Every minute adobe flash pop up ask you to update.

    Click on it and it directs you to shopee.

    Tech: Already banned Shopee and now they piggyback using Adobe? How despicable this Shopee. Will iform the advertising network about this. If you see this again, just “X” to close it.

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  • Observer:

    I do not want any nuclear power stations near my properties.

    Even though I invested in Uranium stocks.

    Consider how this will affect tourism and property price.

    WEF can find experts to endorse locating nuclear power stations in international sea.

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