Singapore, 9 June 2013 - In response to calls by the public for more information, the National Environment Agency (NEA) is releasing the following three documents:
• 19 February 2013: Quotation by Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) contractor, ATL Maintenance Pte Ltd for market stalls high rise cleaning at Block 538 Bedok North Street 3. The quotation was addressed to the Hawkers Association representative.
• 08 May 2013: Letters from Secretary of Block 511 Hawkers Association Mr Chan Kheng Heng to MP Mr Muhd Faisal Abd Manap, and from MP Faisal to the AHPETC, both appealing for AHPETC to assist with the proper and complete cleaning of the hawker centre in the interest of the public and the hawkers. Letters provided to NEA by Mr Chan.
• 03 June 2013: Petition letters by the hawkers of both Blocks 511 and 538 informing the media of their plight.
2 Taken together, the documents show that the hawkers of Block 538 of Bedok North Street 3 had expected the hawker centre to be cleaned as per normal during the spring cleaning exercise in March 2013. This was why they had made arrangements for the period including putting up canvas as indicated in the email our officer sent on 7 February 2013 to AHPETC.
3 According to AHPETC, their contract with ATL Maintenance Pte Ltd (ATL), included cleaning of the entire premises. However, contrary to this, the quotation that ATL submitted to the hawkers of Block 538 shows that the contractor wanted the hawkers to separately pay them for both the scaffolding and cleaning of the high areas. This is work which clearly falls within the responsibility of the town council itself. AHPETC says that the hawkers must have asked for this quotation themselves but the hawkers have said that this is not the case.
4 The appeal letter written by MP Md Faisal Abd Manap on behalf of the hawkers of Block 511 and addressed to AHPETC, confirms the seriousness and validity with which the MP treated the hawkers’ appeal against the AHPETC’s requirement for extra charges to be borne by the hawkers if the high areas are to be cleaned. Md Faisal is not just the local MP, he is an elected member of the AHPETC.
5 Petition letters submitted to the media on 3 June 2013 by the hawkers of Blocks 511 and 538 reflect the consistent position taken by the hawkers throughout this incident. Consequently, NEA stands by the hawkers’ accounts of what actually transpired.
6 NEA and its officers are civil servants who are duty bound to protect the safety of the public through ensuring high standards of hygiene. It therefore rejects allegations that any of its actions have been politically motivated.
8 May 2013 - Appeal Letters from Block 511 Hawkers and MP Faisal
3 June 2013 - Block 511 and Block 538 Hawkers Petition Letters to Press
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