The age-old adage ‘Old habits die hard’ has proved true once again as record number of 31,000 fines were issued to litterbugs last year raising concern over correcting the hygienic habit of Singaporeans. In addition to this, 1700 corrective work orders (CWOs) were also issued to the offenders.
As per the report by National Environment Agency (NEA), the figure of 31,000 litterbug fines was the highest in seven years. The litterbug figures have shown an upward trend since 2002 when it was about 8,195.
Many suggestions have been offered to be tougher on litterbugs and ensure comprehensive cleanliness in Singapore. This includes reverting back to the ‘show-and-shame’ practice of the 1990s when the offenders were made to clean public areas and their photographs were published in newspapers.
Another suggestion has come from Public Hygiene Council Chairman Edward D’Silva that a scorecard should be displayed in each estate mentioning the number of litterbugs caught. This will ensure that people will keep their estates clean.
There have also been campaigns for raising social consciousness for keeping public spaces clean in Singapore.
Lee Bee Wah, Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for the Environment stressed for changing the mindset of the people that cleanliness is the responsibility of each citizen.