Neighbour wars: Elderly resident repeatedly pours water on smoking neighbour in Bedok

PHOTO: Lianhe Wanbao

Like oil and water, a pair of neighbours just can't seem to see eye to eye over their differences in smoking habits.

Annoyed that the neighbour living in the unit below below her refused to stop smoking by his window every day, a 68-year-old lady lost her patience and poured water out her window and onto him four times in the past two months, Lianhe Wanbao reported. 

The woman lives on the third floor of an HDB flat along Bedok Reservoir Road.

In an interview with Lianhe Wanbao, the neighbour, a 64-year-old man, said that he initially thought the lady was washing her windows. It was only after the fourth instance where she yelled at him did he realise she had poured water on him on purpose.

"She's so unreasonable, my hands were all wet!" he exclaimed. "I smoke in my own home, it's none of her business."

According to the elderly lady, the smell of secondhand smoke would regularly waft into the house, especially if the wind was blowing in.

She revealed that the man was a chain smoker to begin with, but had started smoking more frequently this year.

"He smokes in the morning, in the afternoon. Even when I wake up to use the toilet at one or two in the morning, I can still smell the smoke," she lamented.

As a result of the smell, she and her husband, 72, wear masks even while at home.

Her previous attempts at speaking with him in hopes of finding a solution hadn't worked out either, she added. The man simply insisted that he couldn't break the habit.

He revealed to the Chinese evening daily that he smokes over 20 cigarettes a day. When asked if he would consider quitting, he said, "I've smoked for so many years, how to quit?"

The man also pointed out how none of his three tenants had complained about his smoking habit before.

Earlier this month, Nee Soon MP Louis Ng noted an"> increase in disputes over cigarette smoke since the circuit breaker was implemented, seeing that more people were forced to stay at home.

Ang Mo Kio MP Gan Thiam Poh previously mentioned that it was a challenge to stop people from smoking within their homes, saying, "We can only advise them to avoid smoking at their windows."

Ng also advised residents to close their windows to prevent smoke from being blown into their homes.

In May, the National Environment Agency said it was working with the relevant authorities and the respective town councils "to encourage smokers to be considerate to their neighbours and smoke away from the windows".