Monday, 14 April 2008

HDB 2.0

The claimed brave new world of Web-2.0 is the target of much fun, such as this article about an online Barking Dog report service offered by Croydon Council. It made me wonder what Singapore could usefully have an HDB anti-social behavior website for:

  • Burning Joss-sticks on landings
  • Ghost bonfires on the grass
  • Talking loudly on the mobile while standing at an open window
  • Bad karaoke, full volume, Saturday mornings
  • Learning to play the drums
  • Dropping ash / cigarette butts from windows / corridors
  • Spitting from windows / corridors
  • Throwing Q-tips out of windows

I could go on but there's little sport in it. The HDB dept. sets policies for high-density living. For example, pets:

Not all residents like pets, or are comfortable with neighbours keeping pets.

HDB has allowed one dog of an approved breed to be kept in an HDB flat. The approved breeds of dogs are the smaller dogs which are generally more manageable. Please click here for the list of approved breeds of dogs.

Cats are not allowed to be kept in HDB flats as they are nomadic in nature and are difficult to be confined within the flats. Due to the nomadic nature of cats, the nuisances caused by cats such as shedding of fur, defecating/urinating in public areas, noise disturbance etc would affect the environment and neighbourliness in our housing estates. In view of this, HDB has the policy of not allowing cats to be kept in HDB flats.

HDB allows flat owners to keep other pet animals such as fish, hamsters, rabbits, birds, etc which generally do not cause nuisance to the neighbouring residents.

That's news to me. Only one, small dog and no cats. My neightbour has a cat and I've always wondered why it seems deadly afraid of straying more than 10ft from the flat door. Now I presume he has been strongly disciplined that way to avoid complaints from neighbours.

And the dog rules flies in the face of what you see around the flats. Lots of small dogs, but many people with 2 dogs. There's an Indian chap who has an enormous, lupine animal; you know the type, with strange blue eyes. It's an mild-mannered animal but there's no way it's on the HDB official dog breed list. There were posters put up matching its description advising it missing and offering a reward for return. Sounds like it was stolen to order as frankly, how do you lose such an animal? It's not like car keys.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals tries their best. They recently put up posters on good practices for feeding the (officially stray) cats around the blocks (nothing you didn't already know) and their website features an adopt an animal list. There's no cats but instead it's mostly non-HDB approved dogs so only private householders can adopt them and even condos and apartments have rules. It's not looking good for Moo Ping and friends.