Media Release – 9 June 2013

NEA is Contradicting Itself

I welcome the release of the documents by National Environment Agency (“NEA”) so that the public can make their own judgment.

In response, we are also releasing, at Annex A, the email thread from NEA to Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (“AHPETC”) stating that “the Hawkers Association will make the necessary arrangements with their contractors on the scaffold erection / dismantling during the spring cleaning period from 4 – 8 March 2013”.

Regrettably, NEA has not clarified whether the hawkers at Blk 511 Bedok North Street 3 (“Blk 511 Market”) and Blk 538 Bedok North Street 3 (“Blk 538 Market”) were asked by AHPETC to pay any additional charges for any cleaning. All NEA has is a quotation from the cleaning contractor ATL Maintenance Pte Ltd (“ATL”) addressed to the Market Association of Blk 538.

NEA should know that ATL is an independent commercial company free to provide quotations to any party that requests it. It was the Market Association of Blk 538 Market that requested the quotation, as confirmed by ATL’s media release on 6 June 2013. Attributing the quotation to AHPETC is misleading and politically motivated to tarnish the reputation of AHPETC.

I also urge NEA not to confuse the public on the events relating to Blk 538 and Blk 511, which are two separate matters.

The Blk 538 market incident was caused by NEA’s email of 7 Feb 2013. NEA had confirmed that the hawkers’ association would be providing the scaffolding which was not done for reasons unknown to us. In addition, any decision for market closure came from the hawkers’ association and not from the town council, as it was not needed by us.

The appeal letter by MP Faisal released by NEA pertained to Blk 511 Market, which is scheduled for cleaning at the end of June 2013 by the Market Association. Contrary to NEA’s portrayal, the letter evidently shows MP Faisal’s awareness that it was not the policy of AHPETC not to clean the high areas of the market during annual cleaning, nor to collect any additional charges from the hawkers; otherwise, MP Faisal would not have written to AHPETC to look into Mr Chan Kheng Heng’s claim.

NEA’s assertion in its statement flies in the face of logic. NEA is contradicting itself.


9 June 2013

Annex A – Email Correspondence between NEA and AHPETC