Community efforts lauded at this year's Municipal Services Awards

Community efforts lauded at this year's Municipal Services Awards

Collaboration with Ai Tong on pigeon feeding awareness
Ai Tong Primary School students raised awareness of pigeon feeding to the elderly in their neighbourhood. (Photo: Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore)

SINGAPORE: Mr Yee Kok Leong started noticing last year the danger that reckless cyclists posed to residents in his neighbourhood. 

The safety of his daughter and his elderly parents also weighed on his mind, which pushed the 47-year-old bank manager to start cycling alone for hours to locate accident-prone hotspots. He then gathered like-minded individuals to join him in patrolling the grounds and promote safer riding habits. 

After facing some initial pushback from cyclists and users of personal mobility devices, he changed course, and sought help from the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

Eventually, his patrol team grew to include LTA officers, police officers, and volunteer residents, and became known as the LTA Braddell Heights Active Mobility Patrol Team.

Mr Yee is one of 18 winners of this year's Municipal Services Awards, organised by the Municipal Services Office (MSO). 

The awards recognise the collaborative efforts of local volunteers, multiple government agencies, and town councils in solving municipal problems. Aside from unsafe roads, these problems also include stray dogs, wild monkey break-ins, and high-rise littering.

This year, MSO received 97 nominations compared with 68 last year. 

The community category included a young team of students from Ai Tong Primary School. 

These young citizens had worked with the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore, and the Thomson Sin Ming Court RC to educate residents in neighbouring areas on pigeon feeding. Such feeding was causing the pigeon population to grow, potentially increasing the spread of diseases.

His experience serving the community has inspired him to "help more people that are maybe facing problems in the community” said one young team member, Aaron Feng.

He has gone on to volunteer his services by preparing food for those in an elderly home. 

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, who oversees MSO, lauded the integrated efforts of these different groups and individuals. 

She called for greater cooperation between agencies and residents, saying that “local communities know best what the challenges are on the ground, and have valuable networks and relationships that can be tapped to tackle the municipal issues”.

“Many of the residents hold resources that are so important to the resolution of the problem,” said Ms Fu. 

She also highlighted that the Municipal Services Awards “is a way to signal the importance that the community work to MSO will continue to be a major part of our focus.”

Source: CNA/ng(aj)