Problem with neighbours? Use umbrella

SINGAPORE - Your neighbour's air-con compressor is dripping water on your newly-washed clothes.

Do you:

1. Confront your neighbour

2. Complain to your Member of Parliament (MP)

3. Use an umbrella and some plastic sheets to cover your clothes?

Ask yourself honestly, would you, like Mr Buang, pick option No 3?

His simple answer as to why: "I don't want to bother my neighbours."

The 77-year-old man lives on the third storey of Tampines Street 22 Block 299B with his 70-year-old wife.

The air-con is on the floor above, just outside the kitchen window. Mr Buang, who declined to give his full name, also claimed that other neighbours would sometimes litter.

"So I decided to do something," he said.

Four weeks ago, he used a blue umbrella flanked by plastic sheets and placed it outside his open windows, preventing water or rubbish from falling onto his clothes or into his house.

"It's to prevent my clothes from getting dirty," he said.

Asked if he has ever confronted his neighbours, he said no.

"I'm okay with it, I don't want to argue," he said.

"I am an old man. Why should I find problem with others? I can solve them myself."

Praying

Mr Buang said he spends his days praying with his wife, and neither of them are bothered by the water and occasional litter.

His next-door neighbour, who only wanted to be known as Madam Rozzalyn, 50, a cleaner, said that Mr Buang is a very nice neighbour who never complains.

"Some neighbours aren't very nice," she said.

"They throw rubbish such as diapers and tissue from their house, and then the others shout and complain.

"But he (Mr Buang) never complains."

An HDB spokesman said that for rental flats under the Public Scheme, tenants may install air-conditioners only on medical grounds. The tenant above Mr Buang's unit had produced valid supporting medical documents and received approval in August 2011 to install the air-conditioner.

"The air condensing unit was installed below the kitchen window as that was the only location suitable," said the spokesman.

"We have since informed the tenant to engage an air-con technician to carry out the repair and servicing of the air-conditioner unit to resolve the leak."

The New Paper visited the flat of the resident three times over the last three weeks, but there was no one home.

The compressor however, was no longer leaking.

When contacted, Mr Baey Yam Keng, a Tampines GRC MP, said that he was aware of the case from previous news reports.

He said: "It's a positive example of how neighbours can solve problems without involving other parties."

However, he felt that Mr Buang should have informed his neighbour of the problem. He also said the umbrella could be a safety hazard if it is not secured properly.


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