A 38-year-old male resident who set up a recreation area on the ground floor void deck of an HDB block in Yew Tee was asked by the town council to remove the items by Aug. 14, 2023.
Neighbour had previously obtained approval to curate “mini-garden”
Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, the resident, Nizar (transliteration from Mandarin), said his male neighbour had previously obtained approval from the authorities to curate a “mini-garden” in the void deck of Block 661 Choa Chu Kang Crescent.
However, after his neighbour passed away, the area became a bit unkempt as no one was there to maintain it.
After discussing the matter with his neighbour’s wife, Nizar decided to spruce up the “mini-garden” by moving some pieces of furniture, including a table set and a swing, into the area.
The sprucing up process was completed over the course of 2022, and the area was open to the public and served as a place for members to mingle with one another.
Many residents had used the recreation area
According to Nizar, children would sit on the swing with their friends after school, while other residents would use the area to hide away from the heat.
Nizar himself also got to know a number of residents of the estate by hanging out at the recreation area.
“Previously, a resident gifted an indoor futsal football for everyone to play with. However, we had to throw it away after it was soaked in rainwater. There was also one time an injured bird fell into the recreation area, and a resident decided to bring it back home to take care of it. After the bird recovered, the ‘uncle’ brought it back here and released it,” said Nizar.
Set up the recreation area to rekindle kampung spirit
Nizar explained that he wanted to curate the area so that everyone could have a place to rest and rekindle the kampung spirit within the community, as there were no tables and chairs on the ground floor of the block available for public use.
He also said he had never received complaints from other residents directly, so he was shocked when he saw the news online and saddened that his intentions were misinterpreted.
Nizar was referring to the passer-by who wrote to Stomp on Jul. 26 and said that the furniture he placed at the void deck had hindered the public from using the communal space.
The person who tipped the media off also regarded Nizar’s act to be “very selfish and inconsiderate”.
Received a notice from town council to remove the furniture
Nizar also shared that he had purposely decorated the area for the upcoming National Day to inject some festive vibes.
To his surprise, he received a notice from the Marsiling-Yew Tee Town Council, which asked him to remove the furniture by Aug. 14.
Nizar said he planned to appeal to the town council and his Member of Parliament (MP) to see if he can keep the furniture.
According to Shin Min, neither the swing nor the table sets had blocked the pathway.
Residents could proceed to the car park and the ground floor of the block by making use of the corridor.
Response from town council
In response to Mothership‘s query, a spokesperson from the Marsiling-Yew Tee Town Council confirmed that the town council had previously given Nizar two weeks to remove the items he placed in the void deck.
Nizar has since tidied the area, and the town council is working with him on this issue, the statement read.
Top images via Shin Min Daily News & Google Maps