SINGAPORE: The Government has no plans to amend legislation and extend anti-littering laws to private estates such as condominiums, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor said in Parliament on Monday (Aug 6).
Responding to a question from MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Liang Eng Hwa, Dr Khor said that doing so would likely elicit a negative reaction, such as the laws being intrusive.
Mr Liang had asked whether the National Environment Agency (NEA) could extend the deployment of surveillance cameras beyond HDB estates to high-rise private estates to carry out enforcement against high-rise littering.
Dr Khor explained that the prohibition against littering under the Environmental Public Health Act applies only to publicly accessible places. Private estates such as Executive Condominiums (ECs) and private strata-titled condominiums are not regarded as such a place in law, as access to these places are restricted. This means, she said, that NEA is in turn unable to carry out enforcement against littering incidents carried out in these estates.
However, she noted that when approached by a condominium’s management committee for assistance in the area of high-rise littering, NEA explores ways to collaborate with them to educate and advise residents against doing so.
She added that many condominiums already have by-laws that prohibit littering within their estates. “If all else fails, the management committee can apply to the courts to enforce these by-laws against errant residents,” she said. “While the process may be challenging, MCSTs can nonetheless turn to these options if all other means at reaching out to the errant resident fails, including even community mediation.”
Ultimately, Dr Khor stressed that home owners in private estates have the autonomy to govern and manage the shared private spaces in a responsible manner.
“For this to happen, residents should come together to encourage and influence acceptable social behaviour in their communities,” she said.