07 June 2013

Teo Ho Pin On Mosquito Breeding

Sembawang-Nee Soon Town Council was fined $200 after National Environment Agency found 14 mosquito larvae in the water tanks on the rooftops of blocks 896C and 899A in Woodlands.[1]

Is The Water Safe For Consumption
As the mosquito larvae were found in the water tanks, it raises the question as to whether water drawn from those water tanks was safe for consumption without prior boiling.

Neither NEA nor Public Utilities Board, the national water agency, appears to have any press releases on their websites regarding this matter.
Teo Ho Pin's Comments
Coordinating Chairman for PAP-managed town councils and Member of Parliament Teo Ho Pin said, "Water tanks have got many areas which are difficult to access for normal inspection and become very challenging.  You have breeding in some of these places because the birds actually bring leaves and twigs and choke our rooftop drains and it is quite difficult to inspect rooftops every day."[1]
Does Mr Teo understand the meaning of the word "in" as "in the water tanks"?
NEA was referring to larvae found in the water tanks, not the general area on the rooftop.
In any case, I find Mr Teo's comments to be extremely odd.
Singapore is in the midst of one of its most severe outbreaks of dengue in years, with more than 9,000 cases reported to date.
NEA is reaching out to the public, advising them how to take personal responsibility to fight the dengue outbreak.  Even Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pitched in.
Yet, Mr Teo stepped forth to defend the offending town council by giving the excuse that people caught breeding mosquitoes commonly give — that some areas are difficult to access for normal inspection and that nature is to be blamed if drains are choked.
What was Mr Teo thinking?
Responsible people — common people like you and me — know how they should respond to the dengue outbreak.
PM Lee or Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan should have a word with Mr Teo.
Otherwise, NEA's efforts might come to naught if more people start thinking like Mr Teo  — that there is some (perhaps valid) defence if they are found to be breeding mosquitoes.
Finally, it's a question of trust.  When you or someone for whom you have responsibility makes a mistake, don't give excuses.  Better still, apologise.  Humbly, if possible.  And promise to do better in the future.

1. Mosquitoes Breeding in Rooftop Tanks: Town Council Fined S$200 TODAY 6 Jun 2013.


  1. Please this guy has been written off as an protected idiot long long time ago. He is protected in the sense that he can get away with anything. He lose millions in toxic products, paid his staff 8 months bonus, screwed up with AIM and then talked cock about WP. Yet he is drawing big money as mayor.

  2. The reason why TCs do not do thorough checks on site with mosquito breeding is that it is cheaper to pay a $200 fine than the cost to employ people to check such sites.

    Increase the fine to $200K and the problem will be solved.