Fines for not clearing trays show the world that S'poreans are uncivilisedAug 31, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership AI
Diners at food courts and coffee shops who do not clear their tables will face fines from Jan 1, 2022, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Monday (Aug 30) in a media release.
Enforcement at hawker centres, which was announced in May, will kick in on Wednesday (Sep 1), with first-time offenders receiving written warnings and second-time offenders facing a composition fine of S$300. Subsequent offenders may face court fines.
To help diners adjust, there will be another advisory period, of two months, before enforcement begins at these places.
During the coming advisory period, from Nov 1 to Dec 31, diners will be advised to clear their trays and litter, and no enforcement action will be taken.
Those who have been reminded of the rule but still refuse to follow it after enforcement begins will have their particulars taken down, and a written warning will be issued to them. Those who still do not follow the rule will face fines.
Are Singaporeans like dogs that you need to train?
Lee Kuan Yew once said: If you can select a population and they're educated and they're properly brought up, then you don't have to use too much of the stick because they would already have been trained. It's like with dogs. You train it in a proper way from small. It will know that it's got to leave, go outside to pee and to defecate. No, we are not that kind of society. We had to train adult dogs who even today deliberately urinate in the lifts - (The Man and His Ideas)."
In 1987, he also said, "I am often accused of interfering in the private lives of citizens. Yes, if I did not, had I not done that, we wouldn’t be here today. And I say without the slightest remorse, that we wouldn’t be here, we would not have made economic progress, if we had not intervened on very personal matters – who your neighbor is, how you live, the noise you make, how you spit, or what language you use. We decide what is right. Never mind what the people think. (The Straits Times, April 20, 1987)"
For what it's worth, Lee's words continue to be as relevant as ever.