I thought this letter was a pretty interesting perspective on the ‘over-regulation’ of void deck usage.
Losing kampung culture is part of progress
The functions of our void decks are evolving, but this is not necessarily a bad thing (“Voiding the kampung spirit?“; March 17).
These changes occur due to the country’s progress, which alters people’s demand of their living environment.
Fifty years ago, the kampung lifestyle was an essential part of the then Third World Singapore. Fast forward 50 years, and our country has evolved to become a world economic hub.
Performing well academically is now very important in our society. A silent neighbourhood is important in a competitive, achievement-centric country, as it creates a conducive work environment.
The importance of bonding with neighbours is fading.
Although void decks are more convenient than external facilities, we have to understand that the main purpose of our flats is still to house residents.
Noise pollution in void decks may negatively affect people who want to study or rest in their homes. While there is an alternative location to play or chat, there is no alternative to our living spaces.
This is why our void decks are being more regulated. As every bit of noise nowadays is a distraction that calls for a complaint, the Government has to step in to address these conflicts.
It is hypocritical to blame the authorities for trying to resolve the issues that we brought up first.
In the case of posters that were initially put up to ban the playing of chess in common areas, the town council said that the posters were targeting a group of elderly men who residents complained often made noise and obstructed the linkway.
However, after resolving residents’ issues, the Government came under fire for “voiding the kampung spirit” without the whole situation being fully taken into account.
A good, old-fashioned neighbourly give and take seems like an ideal solution to these types of conflicts, but if the noise is affecting your work, would you tolerate it for another’s selfish convenience?
Often, complaining is unavoidable, as it is more effective, despite its harsh nature.
We can still chat or play a round of chess at void decks, but with consideration. Priority is still given to the residents who need their peace and quiet, as, ultimately, these recreational activities can be taken somewhere else where they do not disturb others.
Losing our kampung spirit is part of progressing into a First World country. Even though losing it is a pity, we can create a new Singapore culture that fits Singapore’s identity as a developed city-state.
Ong Hui Wen (Miss)
The Straits Times, Letters on the Web, 30 March 2016