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  Straits Times Forum 9 Jan 07
CCTV installed last year to curb monkey feeding
Reply from NParks

Straits Times Forum 1 Jan 07
Install CCTV to stop people feeding monkeys
Letter from Dr Goh Kian Peng

I AM writing about the problem of monkeys near the reservoir areas at MacRitchie and Peirce.

Over the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of wild monkeys and the incidence of monkeys breaking into homes. Huge signs have been erected along the roads asking people not to feed monkeys and also warning of a fine.

However, this is of little use. Every weekend, cars stop along these roads and people throw food to the monkeys, sometimes even directly in front of the signs. On numerous occasions, I have called the police, only to be told the National Parks Board (NParks) is the enforcement authority and I should call their rangers during office hours.

I find this a catch-22 situation. If the enforcement authority does not have 24-hour enforcing capability when offences occur predominantly on weekends and public holidays, I wonder how the problem can ever be solved.

We all know monkeys can carry diseases and can injure children when aggressive. Like so many other Singapore bugbears, must we wait for something to happen before we take action? And it looks like we need to use the 'fine' approach again.

But obviously, the enforcement authority, whichever it may be, does not have the resources to enforce the rules. I have yet to see a single ranger present on weekends. Do not get me wrong, I am not advocating that all NParks personnel should work 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We need to think of other ways, in addition to education, to tackle the problem before it gets out of hand.

NParks should consider the following: Install CCTV in certain areas. Have a 24-hour hotline for the public to report offenders. Consider submission of digital images by the public of motorists who feed monkeys as sufficient material to press charges.

Finally, actually press charges and fine people (and the media should highlight this to make people aware that NParks has bite and the signs mean what they say).

Sad to say, many Singaporeans are still not community-minded enough and deterrence is required in many areas. Until this changes, we have no choice but to be realistic and accept that we need to send a strong message to people whose actions can threaten our environment, our health and our children.

Straits Times Forum 9 Jan 07
CCTV installed last year to curb monkey feeding
Reply from NParks

I REFER to Dr Goh Kian Peng's letter, 'Install CCTV to stop people feeding monkeys' (ST, Jan 1).

CCTV has been installed at selected spots along Upper Thomson Road since early last year to deter monkey feeding. In addition, the National Parks Board (NParks) has put up educational signs and circulated pamphlets to explain the consequences of feeding monkeys and why this is an offence. Monkey-proof dustbins have been set up in residential areas around the nature reserves.

NParks takes a strong stand against monkey feeding - it causes harm to monkeys and makes them a nuisance to residents along the fringes of nature reserves. We have stepped up enforcement by organising regular raids on monkey feeders. In the past three months, we have warned or fined more than 80 people.

The public can assist our efforts by calling our 24-hour QSM (quality service manager) Helpline,1800-471-7300, to report offenders.

We thank members of the public, like Dr Goh, who understand and support our stand on this matter.

Sharon Chan (Ms)
Assistant Director
Central Nature Reserve National Parks Board

Please don't feed the monkeys more about the impact of feeding
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