"We have to take a somewhat detached view of issues so that when issues come up, our first instinct is not (to have the) Government do something about it.
Whether it is a problem with rats in the neighbourhood, whether it is a problem with feeding of birds and therefore other vermin turn up, whether it is a problem with neighbours upstairs, downstairs, the Government should be the last recourse, and should not be the first recourse.
Residents' committees (RCs) and the neighbourhood committees of course do a lot of work.
But there are many other groups which get together and look out for their interests.
For example, when we have a new HDB neighbourhood precinct and people are beginning to get ready to move in, before any RC is formed, there is already a Facebook group, and they will share information about where to get the best curtains, which interior decorator is good, who gives you good value, who is to be avoided and when to get together to go and see the new MP and ask for something which is not fixed.
But actually, you ought to organise to get things done, not organise to ask the Government to do things."
This article was first published on January 17, 2015.
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