Closing remarks by SMS Sim Ann for Focus Group Discussion with Chinese Community on Neighbourhood Noise
Sep 16, 2022
A very good evening to all. I would like to thank everyone for taking time to join us on a Friday evening to share your thoughts on neighbourhood noise and how we can better manage it for a more pleasant living environment for everyone. I was glad to hear the lively discussions at each group.
IMPACT OF NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE
Based on what we had heard today, many of us have experienced noise in our daily living. This is especially so in a densely populated city like Singapore. The issue has become more prevalent in recent times, as we are now spending more time at home due to the adoption of hybrid work arrangements.
Neighbourhood noise is a serious issue that we are looking to address. In most cases, the noise disturbances are a source of irritation and can affect our rest at home. When left unchecked, it can escalate to conflicts among neighbours and disrupt our living environment. There are also instances where the noise disturbance is protracted. In such cases, the impact of noise is more severe and can affect an individual’s physical and mental well-bring.
That is why MSO and MCCY have convened the Community Advisory Panel (CAP) on Neighbourhood Noise to look at ways to address noises generated, knowingly or unintentionally, by fellow residents. The CAP is tasked with developing a commonly-acceptable set of community norms that we hope will form a reference point when it comes to defining acceptable or unacceptable noises, and good neighbourly practices that we should adopt in our daily activities.
COMMON OBSERVATIONS ON NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE
As noise is an issue that concerns all of us, the panel has been consulting the community widely as part of their work to develop norms to better manage neighbourhood noise. Over the past three months, MSO and MCCY have been working with the Panel to conduct a series of public engagements, comprising both focus group discussions and surveys, and have engaged more than 3,000 members of the public.
We have seen some common threads across the discussions at today’s session and the others. This was encouraging, because it shows that there is consensus among participants when it comes to expected behaviours, which are useful findings for the Panel.
For starters, many residents have agreed that we should try to be more considerate and avoid conducting noisy activities during the quiet hours. While it's easier said than done, many have also spoken about the value of open communication with neighbours, because this should be the first step to resolving disputes. These observations emerging from the discussions have prompted us to look deeper into raising awareness and acceptance of quiet hours, encouraging better communication between neighbours and addressing extreme cases where noise is protracted or intentionally made to harass others.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR COMMUNITY ADVISORY PANEL
The CAP has their work cut out for them, and I thank you for your candid and active participation in their public consultations thus far. We are approaching the end of the public engagements, and the Panel has started to study your inputs on this topic. They will identify norms which have achieved consensus from the community, and put forth a set of recommendations which they will submit to Government by the end of the year.
These norms, which were developed together with residents, will ensure a shared ownership among the community, and encourage everyone to play their part to minimise noise. This also supports one of the main pillars of the Forward Singapore exercise, “Build”, which was launched by DPM Lawrence Wong earlier this year. We hope that the community norms developed will go toward transforming our living environment and build a more endearing home for all of us.
Thank you, and I wish you a restful weekend.