Action on CNY fair not tit-for-tat move, says WP

SINGAPORE - The recent action taken by the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) against grassroots groups over a Chinese New Year fair was "not a tit-for-tat" move, said chairman Sylvia Lim.

She said last night there was "no link" between that and the recent court summons issued by the National Environment Agency (NEA) to AHPETC over a trade fair held in the constituency.

On whether NEA's court action was a case of the Government retaliating against the town council, she said: "You will have to ask them."

AHPETC is currently deciding on the amount of fines that a merchants' association has to pay for holding the New Year fair in Kovan that encroached on the town council's common property. The fair was held on land leased by the People's Association (PA).

The town council has issued three notices to the PA. Ms Lim said AHPETC took action because it has to answer for the maintenance and safety of common areas.

Separately, the NEA is taking AHPETC to court for holding the trade fair at Hougang Central Hub without a licence. Last year, the government agency and the council got into a spat over the cleaning of hawker centres.

When asked by MyPaper how she would characterise the council's relationship with the Government, Ms Lim said yesterday that the council "works quite well with many government departments", and has had good experiences working with agencies such as the Land Transport Authority, the Traffic Police and the Housing Board.

The PA also worked with AHPETC recently when it selected several improvement projects in Workers' Party wards.

This, she said, characterised how the council strives to have a professional working relationship with the Government, although "there are some hiccups along the way".

twong@sph.com.sg

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