If you’ve been catching up on some of the dark side’s socio-political blogs lately, you may have come across a post mentioning that a “tree shrine” used by residents to rest was cleared by the Singapore Land Authority for encroachment of state land. The area at Tanglin Halt has apparently been used by senior residents and ex-residents to gather.

Let’s be frank here, I do not see a problem with residents utilizing land for recreational purposes. As long as the land is not being sold or developed, why should people be banned from using it. I guess some of our old timers miss the kampong days when they could sit under a tree and take a nap or chat about the day’s events. Of course, I would never be caught out there, especially in Singapore’s heat, but can you blame the oldies from being nostalgic?

There are some other laws commonly cited to be “hardly enforced”.

1) Regulation 16 of the Environmental Public Health (Public Cleansing) Regulations states that “any person who has urinated or defecated in any sanitary convenience with a flushing system to which the public has access shall flush the sanitary convenience immediately after using it”. Seriously?!

2) Section 27A of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act states that “any person who appear nude (a) in a public place or (b) in a private place and is exposed to public view shall be guilty of an offence”. I guess I won’t be going around in my birthday suit near any windows.

My point here is simply that not every regulation or law needs to be tightly enforced. I can understand the purpose of the law but it should always take into account circumstances. Perhaps in this case of state land, that isn’t being used for anything else, enforcement could have been relaxed.

Perhaps some regulations are past their time? Or maybe they should not be enforced at all times?

Top photo from Straits Times (not actually from the area at Tanglin Halt)