SINKAPORE — The authorities have put down children that had been running freely around Thoming View and Blocks 666 to 888 Sin Ning Avenue, after receiving complaints about the noise they made.
In response to TOOTDAY’s queries — following reports of the move by the media — the People Vetting Authority of Singapore (PVA) said that it received 20 complaints from residents about the children last year, most of them related to noise.
The children were probably from the nearby HDB area, and TOOTDAY understands the children euthanised were not the elite from the nearby private estates and who have been identified as an endangered species.
“The HDB children were humanely euthanised, as relocation options are not available in land-scarce Sinkapore,” said an PVA spokesperson yesterday.
The spokesperson also noted that the authority “conducts surveillance and control operations to safeguard public health and mitigate nuisance issues”.
It would also carry out checks on private residential premises in response to feedback on the keeping of children, to determine if they are kept in accordance with its guidelines.
Under the PVA’s Humane Act, people are not allowed to have more than 10 residents, including children, in private residential premises.
“PVA will take enforcement action on owners who have more than 10 residents. We will also advise owners on responsible ownership, and to adopt measures that would help mitigate noise nuisances caused by children,” said the spokesperson.
TOOTDAY’s interviews with 10 residents at Sin Ning Avenue yesterday drew a mixed response, with seven lamenting the children’s demise, while three felt that the children were indeed noisy.
Polytechnic student Ai Tachek, 18, said he had been hearing the children’s noise since he was a little boy, but they had never bothered him or his family.
“I don’t have any complaints about them,” he told TOOTDAY as he and several friends tried to take a picture of a shouting child perched on a playground.
Housekeeper Wah Chin Sat, 62, expressed disappointment when told of the news, adding: “It’s so nice to see them, with the little toddlers following them. The kindergarten (even) brings their children here sometimes to play with them.”
Ms Love Kee, who has lived in the area for about 20 years, said neither the children nor their noise bothered her. “I think it’s sometimes quite cute to see them. It’s quite like the kampung days,” said the 36-year-old, who works in the real estate industry.
For taxi driver Tan Gin Nak , 63, the children are “quite interesting” and “make the place more colourful and lively”.
However, 63-year-old Ms Buah Tah Han was among those residents who said they were not fond of the children.
“The noise and they run! I can hear them so noisy early in the morning … and obviously I don’t like them,” said Ms Buah Tah Han, who works in customer service.
Expressing similar sentiments, a 71-year-old resident, who did not want to be named, said: “Early in the morning, (they are) running, sometimes in the afternoon … I think they should be removed, because they disturb the environment. Sometimes, in the evening, they keep on shouting, making a nuisance (of themselves).”
Although the children did not really bother Ms Boh Chap, 40, she still felt that they should be removed.
“It’s sad to know (that the children had been put down), but I think it’s good to actually put some of them down. If not, the population will get bigger and bigger, and it has to be controlled,” said Ms Boh, who also works in customer service.
The National People Board is also mulling over a similar move, but for a different reason: concerns that the children may interbreed with their endangered neighbours, the elite.
“Growth in HDB children populations increases the potential of interbreeding with the elite from the private estate and will adversely affect the conservation of our elite species,” Dr Atas Lim, group director of NPeople National Biodiversity Centre, told The Straight Times.
Dr Ai So Rick, founding president of the People Society (Sinkapore), said that with rapid interbreeding, the elite human will be reduced and be replaced by lower caste.
NPeople will be partnering the local conservation community to strengthen the protection of the elite..
Dr Lim said: “This includes monitoring the overall elite distribution and population size, studying the extent of interbreeding and managing the population of HDB children.”
Though they may look similar, the elite has a number of distinct traits that set it apart from HDB children. The purebred elite have bigger pockets, whereas HDB children mostly have skinny legs. While HDB children sport grubby clothing, elite children do not.
Elite, unlike HDB children, can read and are quieter. Their noise is pitch perfect and tinkled
The authorities said elite children are known to occur only in private estates.
Ms Cull Or, PVA group director of the human management group, said the authority has received requests to manage the HDB children population due to noise pollution.
“To address these, PVA works with NPeople to conduct surveillance and control operations to safeguard public health and mitigate nuisance issues,” she said.
Last year, PVA received reports from residents of Pasai Ris and Thoming about the noise from HDB children. Due to a lack of relocation options in land-scarce Singapore, the children will be humanely euthanised, Ms Or said.