Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Singapore is a Fine City

In Singapore, taking a nap in a park is considered an offence, punishable under Singapore's Parks and Tree Act 2005.

On October 15, 2008, an elderly man - 62 years old private bus driver Mr. Kassim - was woke up from his 15-minutes nap on a park bench by 2 park rangers and fined $200.

That's because he "had misused the park facility by sleeping on the bench", explained the National Parks Board. The board further boasted that it has fined more than 10 people for misusing the facilities in the parks since June 2008 (i.e. in the 3 months period preceding this incident)

FUCK YOU, National Park Board!

Fuck you for upholding the "Singapore is a fine city" image, when we, in Young Pay-And-Pay, are trying very hard to con foreigners to believe otherwise, so that they will visit Singapore, sink their roots here, and replace the locals who are leaving in droves!

Next time, come talk to us first!


Anonymous said...

Man fined $200 for sleeping on bench
'I didn't know it was an offence'
By Lediati Tan
October 15, 2008
IT was a 15-minute nap on a park bench. And it cost him $200 - equivalent to a comfortable night's stay in a three-star hotel complete with a soft bed and fluffy pillows.

He had dozed off on a Sun Plaza Park bench while taking shelter from the rain.

For doing so, the 62-year-old private bus driver, who wanted to be known only as Mr Kassim, was fined $200 by the National Parks Board (NParks).

The agency said Mr Kassim had misused the park facility by sleeping on the bench.

On 1 Sep this year, Mr Kassim was cycling near the park in Tampines when it began to drizzle. He decided to wait out the rain in a shelter at the park.

It was pouring heavily by the time he reached the shelter, so he lay down on one of the wooden benches, and dozed off after about five minutes.

'About 15 minutes later, I opened my eyes and saw that the rain was about to stop,' Mr Kassim told The New Paper.
Click to see larger image
FORBIDDEN: A man spotted snoozing in a park in Bishan.

'I saw two men walking towards me. I didn't know who they were. I closed my eyes again.

'Then I heard someone shouting, 'Wake up, wake up!' in Malay.'

When Mr Kassim opened his eyes, he saw the two men towering over him. They identified themselves as NParks rangers.

They asked for his identity card, which he gave to them.

But Mr Kassim was puzzled.

'I asked them, 'What have I done wrong?'

'They told me I had abused park facilities by sleeping on the park bench. They then issued me a ticket.'

Mr Kassim did not know that it was an offence to sleep on a park bench. But he accepted the ticket.

An NParks spokesman told The New Paper that Mr Kassim was fined as he 'was found sleeping in the park shelter with his colleague, and had repeatedly ignored our ranger's actions to wake him up'.

But Mr Kassim claimed that he woke up as soon as the rangers told him to, and that he was at the park alone.

He said there was another man also sleeping on another bench in the same shelter, but he did not know the man.

He claimed that the rangers approached the man and another man who was lying on the bench in the opposite shelter.

'It was the first time I'd fallen asleep in Sun Plaza Park,' said Mr Kassim, who lives in Pasir Ris.

It was also his first time at Sun Plaza Park.

'I've fallen asleep on benches in Pasir Ris Park before and nothing happened to me,' he said.

Five days after he was issued the ticket, Mr Kassim received a letter from NParks detailing his offence and asking him to pay the $200 fine.

When he went down to the NParks office to pay the fine, he claimed that he was told by a staff member that he could appeal.

Mr Kassim decided against appealing. It was too much trouble, he said.

He called The New Paper because he wanted to warn others about this little-known rule, lest they be fined too.

'I think most people don't know this. I'm the unlucky one, so I want to tell people not to sleep in parks, or they may end up like me having to pay $200,' he said with a laugh.

The New Paper asked eight regular park-goers if they knew that sleeping on park benches was an offence. None was aware. (See report on facing page.)

The NParks spokesman said: 'We try to create the conditions that make visitors feel at ease when they come to our parks. When people abuse our parks by overstaying or squatting, they make genuine park users feel uncomfortable.

'Others sleep on benches or in shelters in an inconsiderate manner and deny park users from using these facilities.

'During their daily patrols, our rangers will advise people who sleep or squat in our parks to stop misusing our park facilities.'

Since June this year, more than 10 people have been fined for misusing the facilities in the parks, the spokesman added. He did not say if these specifically involved sleeping on park benches.

But Mr Kassim pointed out that if sleeping on park benches was an offence, there should be signs to tell people.

On the NParks website, there is a list of 'Dos' and 'Don'ts' for visiting parks.

Sleeping on a park bench was not among the 'Don'ts', though there is a disclaimer which said the list was 'not exhaustive or intended to be a complete list of the prohibitions or regulations governing our parks'.

It also stated that 'any omission does not constitute a waiver of any offence'.

Park visitors can refer to the Parks and Trees Act 2005 and the Parks and Trees Regulations 2005, the website said.

Anonymous said...

No wonder Singapore has so few homeless people. They are all chased away, even during day times, let alone night times!

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, in Canada:
Court ruling allows camping in parks in Victoria
Tuesday, October 14 - 02:48:27 PM Shane Bigham

VICTORIA (NEWS1130) - It's now legal for homeless people in Victoria to pitch a tent and sleep in city parks. A city of Victoria bylaw against camping in civic parks has been struck down by the B.C. Supreme Court.

The law was aimed at preventing the homeless from setting up tents in parks, but the court says the rule deprives the homeless of life, liberty and security in a way that violates the Charter of Rights. Lawyer Irene Faulkner, who helped challenge the law, says the judge decided that a sleeping bag or blanket isn't enough to protect people from the elements.

She says the court ruling means that sleeping in a tent or under another structure is not a public safety issue, but rather a basic human dignity. Vancouver Park Board Chair Korina Houghton says it's unclear at this time what affect the ruling will have here. "Our staff is reviewing the the 108 page ruling, then we'll have to seek some legal advice to see if it does violate our bylaws and charter. If it does affect us here, we'll have to look at how we can deal with them."

Now we know why Singaporeans are emigrating to Canada, and Australia, and....

Chee Wai Lee said...

This is a ridiculous rule, even if the purpose was to discourage the homeless from squatting in the park (if we have spare dormitory space, why not allocate a number of them to the homeless instead of fining them for sleeping in the park?).

This particular case is even worse. Someone who dozed off in the park while sheltering from the rain? This could happen to *anyone*! How is that misuse? Mr. Kassim did not even seem to have resisted the park rangers according to his account. All they had to do was patiently wait for him to wake up, explain himself and then advise him to leave (which to me, still seems to be a very unusual thing for what should be a *public* park).

In the US, a park is a good place for people to visit and relax. This *includes* a nice good nap under the shade (or sun)!!! It is supposed to be encouraged.

Anonymous said...

Holy ****!!!!

Me and my wife always like to sit at the East Coast park benches, wait for the sunset, and in some cases, the sunrise.

And most of the time, she dozes off in my lap while waiting.

We've encountered Park rangers several times, but never been caught or reprimanded.

Is it because we are Chinese, and our dressing comply with the self-proclaimed 1st world standards of Singapore, eventhough in reality, we could all pass off as homeless people in London? I mean, even "squatters" in London have better clothes and housing than us (HDB).

I really hope it's not because the "guy" is Malay :(