Yishun “Ah Pek” Beautifies Void Deck Only to have Town Council Cruelly Tear It Down

Posted on Mar 2 2017 - 3:40pm by Redwire Singapore

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His aim of building a super cool pagoda at the senior citizens’ corner was to make people happy, especially retirees who spend their time mingling there.

But 75-year-old Or Beng Kooi has seen his hard work go to waste after the town council ordered him to tear down the tower.

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The widower, known affectionately as “Ah Pek” by residents, had built the tower using some 200 items, including colourful toys such as Astro Boy and Humpty Dumpty figurines, old trophies, and flowers.

Such was its beauty that some, including local artist Shirley Soh, deemed it an art installation.

Last Thursday, the structure at Block 108 Yishun Ring Road came toppling down as Nee Soon Town Council stepped in.

Ah Pek says it’s just too bad because it’s the government’s area so there’s nothing he can do.

Residents too have said it’s a big shame that the work of art had to go.

Nee Soon Town Council has explained that the structure was a fire hazard.

Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng said:

“The items can pose a fire and safety hazard and we advise residents not to store their items at the void decks or social gathering points.”

Yet in parliament yesterday, Mr Ng spoke about the need for public servants to have more compassion.

He said that it’s important to adopt new ways of managing situations rather than stick to rigid old methods.

“Our public service needs to think out of the box as well. We have now developed a mindset where a solution, which has been used for years, becomes the right solution. We think that if we change, it means we have been wrong all these years and we don’t like to be wrong.

Perhaps the easiest way to come up with new ideas is to listen to suggestions from others. I have been to too many dialogue sessions where we talk so much rather than listen attentively. We defend our policies rather than listen to ideas on how we can make our policies better.”

 

 

1 Comment so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. fvtgybhunji March 2, 2017 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    By the book, as long any decorations in the public is not being done by the official, it can be consider as vandalism.

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