Singapore estate where they pee and smoke in the lifts

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 April, 2013, 4:04am


Lifts in Singapore's blocks of public housing are still sometimes being used as toilets to the fury of residents despite a long government campaign to eradicate the habit, a report said yesterday.

A suburban council has put up notices showing a bare-bottomed woman apparently urinating in a lift and a man smoking in another, the Sunday Times newspaper said. The incriminating images were captured by closed-circuit cameras and published blurred as a warning.

If such "antisocial" acts continued, the Tampines Town Council said it would publish clear pictures of offenders and submit them as evidence for prosecution under the Environmental Public Health Act.

Singapore is obsessed with cleanliness and wages regular campaigns to promote social graces, with chewing gum banned and recalcitrant litterbugs shamed by being made to pick up rubbish in public.

But before mass public housing was launched in the 1960s, many Singaporeans lived in slums without indoor plumbing and carried unsanitary habits to high-rise apartment blocks.

The Sunday Times said the smell of urine and cigarette smoke was the most persistent problem in lifts - but it could get worse.

"Sometimes there's faeces as well," housewife Jo Neo, 40, told the newspaper. "What happened to civic-mindedness?"