Louis Ng: What's the point of having HDB cat ban if it's not actively enforced?

Cats shed fur, dogs too. Sterilised cats do not make caterwauling sounds, sterilised dogs still might bark.

Zhangxin Zheng | October 07, 2020, 06:33 PM

Nee Soon GRC Member of Parliament (MP) Louis Ng, also the founder of animal rescue group Acres, has been fighting for a review of the ban on having cats in HDB.

Just this year alone, Ng has spoken out on this issue at least three times in Parliament, eliciting responses from former Minister for National Development (MND) Lawrence Wong (who is now the Minister for Education), as well as former Senior Parliamentary Secretary for MND Sun Xueling (who is now the Minister of State for Education and Social & Family Development).

Problems with cats can be solved

In his Facebook post, Ng reiterated that the issues with cat ownership that HDB brought up in March can be "easily addressed".

For example, owners can ensure their cats do not roam indiscriminately and are sterilised.

Sterilised cats do not make caterwauling sounds, and therefore, this will reduce the nuisance caused in the neighbourhood that cat ownership might bring.

Similar to cats, dogs can shed fur and defecate or urinate in public areas.

Dogs can bark too.

If larger dogs are now allowed to be kept in HDB flats, it does not make sense how one is not allowed to keep cats.

Ng: What's the point of having a rule that is not actively enforced?

Ng added that MND previously replied that HDB will investigate if the cat is causing any disamenities whenever they receive a complaint.

Otherwise, residents will not be asked to remove their cats, Ng said in his Facebook post.

Ng also pointed out that many MPs also observe HDB residents have cats at home and even take photos with the residents and their cats during house visits.

This prompted him to ask, "What is the point of having a rule that we do not actively enforce?"

Instead, Ng hopes that the ban can be reviewed to "reflect what we already accept in reality" — that is to allow cats to be kept at home unless they cause disamenities to the community.

Lee: MND will review and update pet ownership policies

During his round-up speech for the second reading of the Housing and Development (Amendment) Bill, current Minister for National Development Desmond Lee addressed Ng's question about HDB policy on cats ownership even though it is unrelated to the Bill.

Lee said that he is a cat lover and have had four stray cats over the past 15 years.

He reiterated the ministry's stance that they will have to strike a balance between residents who are pet lovers and those who are not for HDB's pet ownership policies.

Lee, however, reassured that the ministry will review and update Singapore's pet ownership policies to ensure that they are effective and balance the needs of different stakeholders.

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Top image via CNA Parliament video and FN