Marsiling residents fight over 'pungent' cooking smells, neighbour told to cook only 3 times a day

Both neighbours eventually agreed that the complainee can only cook from 10:30am-12.30pm, 4pm-6pm, and 8pm-10pm.

Lean Jinghui | May 30, 2021, 07:56 PM

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Two neighbours went for mediation of their dispute at the Community Mediation Centre (CMC), after one complained about the "pungent" smell from the other neighbour's cooking.

According to Shin Min Daily News, this neighbourly conflict happened between two units at Blk 26 Marsiling Drive.

Neighbour upstairs complained about "oily smoke" every day

Wang Meixue (translated directly from Chinese), who's a 61-year-old housewife, told Shin Min Daily News that her neighbour seemed to enjoy cooking curry, fried fish, chicken wings, and many more dishes every single day.

The "pungent smell of oily smoke" often drifted up to her apartment, permeating the entire living room and bedrooms, she claimed.

As a result, they had to close their windows every day.

She said that this situation had continued for five to six years, and that she had complained about the family multiple times to the town council, even reporting it to the police for more than 10 times.

Unable to resolve the dispute between them, the matter was eventually raised to the CMC.

Both neighbours eventually came to an agreement for the family living in the unit downstairs to only cook at three specified timings in the day: 10:30am-12.30pm, 4pm-6pm, and 8pm-10pm.

But Wang claimed that her neighbour broke the agreement after two weeks.

Claimed that the smell has affected her entire family

Additionally, as her daughter has just gotten pregnant, she said that she is worried about the effect of the smoke on the fetus.

She added that as they had to close the windows, resulting in the lack of air circulation in the apartment, the heat is often unbearable.

She also claimed that her son, who is working from home, is unable to concentrate on his work properly due to the heat.

The other side: Cooking for a family of eight

On the other hand, the neighbour downstairs explained to Shin Min that she needed to cook for the whole family, which comprises herself, her husband, and six kids.

She said: "Why is it wrong to cook in my own home? I have a lot of family members, which is why I need to cook for a longer time."

The neighbour, who declined to be named, added that her family is also worn out from the lengthy dispute.

She told Shin Min that she had been abiding by the resolution set out by the CMC ever since both parties came to an agreement.

This meant that her family often had to wait to eat breakfast, even if they were hungry, as she could only begin cooking at 10:30am, she added.

Subsequent disagreements?

According to Wang, who claimed that her neighbours downstairs had not abided by the specified timings when cooking, she could no longer hold in her anger and yelled at them from her unit.

This led her neighbours to rush up to her unit, banging on her door and shouting at her family, she said.

Both parties subsequently got into a shouting match.

Wang said that she had only told her neighbours that they could not cook yet, while her neighbour complained that Wang had interrupted her husband's sleep.

Top image via Shin Min Daily News