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An open letter to MP Alex Yam from a Choa Chu Kang resident on the ‘pinoy drummer’ saga

Posted by temasektimes on April 20, 2012

Dear Mr Alex Yam,

I have been reading the posts and newspaper articles with regards to this case, I believe it is important to provide a background on this case especially to the ignorant media (Such as TNP and 新明日报) who has jumped in from nowhere projecting Singaporeans as not sympathizing the special-need family. Playing sympathy cards definitely can invite more supporters however right from the beginning the main objective is to reduce this noise disturbance issue and not between foreigners and Singaporeans.

Sep’11-Oct’11 :

This is the period the family has shifted into the CCK flat. Drumming takes place at only 1 time per day which is between 5-7pm. I have been living in Yew Tee since 1994, to me and other residents all these years none of the residents staying here plays such a loud drumming. And since the frequency is less, the residents have leave it at it is.

Nov’11-Dec’11 :

When Sch holidays begins, the frequencies has tremendously increases between 11am to 7pm. It can be as frequent as hourly event. This is the period whereby a number of residents start lodging complaints to HDB (You may want to check with HDB on the records) and shouting across units can be heard. HDB paid house visits during End Nov and Dec’11. Situation does improved, but after not long is back to square one. Take note: working-class people do not entitled any sch holidays.

Jan’12-Feb’12 :

Request HDB to re-look into this case again, apparently the reply is pretty disappointing. The residents have tried to call SPF however the reply gotten is the num of calls does not justify them to act. Therefore decided to escalate this case to the MP which is you hoping this issue can be resolved during end Jan’12. HDB provides disappointing reply after 3 weeks indicating no adverse feedbacks on the residents they have interviewed. This case has been brought to your attention once again, and have provided some units to HDB to interview.


After 3 weeks of waiting, the reply from HDB is still disappointing, now the replied become they have interviewed and residents are aware of the noise but have no issued abt it, have once again spoke to the HDB and on 24th Mar Curfew timing is being imposed, and HDB relates back indicating if this case still remains unresolved, can be raise to magistrate court and they empathize the residents and acknowledge that the drumming is indeed too loud and causing disturbance to the residents. (You mentioned only serious case can be brought up to the magistrate court, therefore this case is a serious one)


In your earlier post you mentioned that your RC has feedback to you the family has abide to the timing (noon to 1pm, 6-7pm), however didn’t they feedback that the drumming starts at 10+ to 11am during saturdays and sometimes 3+pm during weekdays, evening sessions went beyond 7pm to 7.45pm during some days? My question will be is your volunteers 24/7 in the house? and living close to the family unit.

With the curfew timing not being abide to and exams period is coming, this case has been brought up to the next level, either to magistrate court or to the media.

Will things gets personal as what you mentioned earlier if this is raised to the magistrate court?

During all these while none of the personnels have feedback that this is a special need child and the parents are saving up to do sound proofing till 16-Apr you decided to disclose the facts when this issue was being exposed and the experiencing of a sense of imbalance treatment for the past mths is due to this reason.

Points for thoughts

1. Our HDB flat are using Ferrolite (semi-precast) partition wall which is not capable of absorbing loud noise compared to 1970s-1980s flats which are using full-casted partitions. (You may want to do some research on it as you may not stay in HDB before and notice the difference between 1970s vs current flats)

2. During sec sch days, Physics had cover a topic named noise travelling/vibrations. We all understand that noise will travel upwards and outwards. The impact on lower ground level will not be as loud as upper level. (You may want to check with HDB with regards which levels are the residents who lodge the complaints stays). Appreciate that the family is taking actions by shutting all windows, closing doors, and stuffing towels at the door gap, however with the loud banging of acoustic drums, the noise vibrations will still travel thru the ferrolite walls and outside will still hear it loud and clear (Just like you went to indoor stadium and listen to concert). And have they themselves tried to go to the upper floor or ground floor to understand the noise impact?

With such a strong noise vibrations, you may want to request HDB technical persons to check the flat structure as it may creates cracks in the unit.

In the TNP, It written that the dad will want to do it himself if the price is too expensive, then my question will be who will judge whether is the sound proofing done properly and is really taking effect to avoid another stirring of this case? Or they can take up solutions like drum silencers, electronic drums, muffled which is less than $5K and will resolved this case. The solutions provided by the netizens are excellent and not expensive to execute too.

3. The residents are not restricting them to play drum, but just want the noise level to reduce disregards whether this family is from where. As this unit is within a square, it is definitely not just affecting 608 residents but also a portion of 607. Like what fellow netizens mention, we have residents made up of students who wants to revise their homework during the day, old pple who need their rest, working class ppl who just want to laze in the hse during weekends to enjoy some peace living in the blocks.

4. As per my earlier posting, I do sympathize this family whose child is a special need, however something still needs to be done, timeline still have to be laid and abide to it. Through the 20 years of education in Singapore, teachers and the education scheme had taught us to be considerate, care and maintain a harmonious living society which we are exercising else this case will not be dragging to coming over 6 mths since last Nov’11 till it evolve till this stage.

5. Fellow netizens are feeling the disturbance too although they are not the one suffering as since the day we are born we are already living in a pigeon hole HDB flat therefore we are able to understand better on this situation and it do not matter where the family comes from but just that this type of noise is unbearable. And definitely we need to get something out of this thru other channels.

6. Today will things be handle differently if the complainant’s kid is also a special need kid just that whenever the kid heard loud noises such as drum beating he/she will gets traumatized, will this case be resolved in such a manner?

LAst but not least will be when can this be resolve? And a big thank you to you for helping on this case on the last few mths and also the work you and your team has put in.

I personally appreciate the help renders from the netizens towards this case and keeping our nation as the same as before.


*The above is first posted as a comment on Mr Alex Yam’s Facebook


Related articles:

PAP MP Alex Yam accuses netizens of launching online witch-hunt against innocent people

Choa Chu Kang resident lodges report on Filipino drummer to NEA and SPF

Alex Yam’s open letter to netizens

5 Choa Chu Kang families have no issues with pinoy drumming

Alex Yam to CCK residents: Be more tolerant to pinoy boy

PHOTOS: Pinoy drummer Kenneth Milana

Alex Yam to CCK residents: Be more tolerant to pinoy boy with ‘special needs’

Alex Yam raps Choa Chu Kang residents for not understanding the plight of Pinoy drummer

PAP MP Alex Yam: ‘Pinoy drummer’ issue has been resolved

VIDEO: Singaporean shouted at Filipino neighbor who is playing drums to shut up

Choa Chu Kang residents harassed by Pinoy neighbor who beats drums and blasts loud music daily


11 Responses to “An open letter to MP Alex Yam from a Choa Chu Kang resident on the ‘pinoy drummer’ saga”

  1. cc chia said

    Excellent letter, Ms Chong. You have our support in putting our incompetent and lazy MPs to task, and for teaching inconsiderate neighbours (whether locals or otherwise) how to behave in Singapore.

    • Abercrombie said

      Mr Yam belongs back in the private sector after GE2016.

      How to be MP when can’t even solve a simple problem?

  2. spotlessleopard said

    The Kid can beat his drums till Kingdom come in a Music Studio….HDB should evict them if they continue to disturb the peace and as for Alex….? He should be voted out in the next GE.

  3. Badass Ed said

    See? This is what you get when you give them citizenship too easily.

    The changes in social norm is as much a culture shock to us as it is to them.

    In our haste to increase the population and artificially inflating GDP growth, we forgot about the human element and how these people are going to fit into our Singaporean lifestyle. First, we have to change our love for curry to suit the whims of PRC immigrants. Now, we have to bear with the incessant beating of drums by a “special needs” Pinoy. When do we say “Enough is enough”!

    No wonder true blue Singaporeans, those who can afford it, are migrating to condos while these new immigrants are taking over the HDB heartlands. Go to any HDB precinct parks in the evenings and you can see scores of immigrant dependents comprising the old and infirm. It’s no wonder that our hospitals are filled to the brim. It is obvious we didn’t get the better part of the bargain. We paid a ransom and yet still got monkeys apparently!

    The past lax granting of permanent residency status and almost instant citizenship must be tightened immediately or else this nation is going down the path of fragmentation, despite those rosy economic indicators.

  4. Oracle said

    Very well researched, Liling. And very diplomatic.
    Unlike Alex Yam who raised the foreigner versus local issue, thus triggering a very sensitive view to the matter, and definitely not helping at all considering the constant unfavorable feedback about foreign talents.
    Mr Yam, the residents complained not because the noise was generated by a foreigner- they would have done the same if it were a fellow Singaporean.
    And to reprimand us for not making the effort to find out that the culprit was a ‘special needs’ person and that the family were thinking of soundproofing the room – when the Filipino family so called apologized, did they inform the residents themselves?
    My Yam, we citizens do not pay your salary for you to put us down with your ‘I am holier and have more empathy than you’ attitude ( and your groundwork was not done by you personally, but by the committee movers) and speak down to us like we are spoilt brats!
    I very much doubt you will be voted in for another term in Parliament

  5. Alan said

    excellent post but i doubt that the MP will do anything since they are good at ignoring local voices

  6. Hsien Liao La said

    The last line of this letter smacks of a nostalgia for times past that will NEVER return. The Foreigners Action Party that this Yammy bloke belongs to will only ensure things become WORSE.

  7. oldbandit said

    Mr Yam is lucky that us citizens cant initiate a VoNC ( Vote of No Confidence ) against him. Else he need not wait till 2016 to be evicted..

  8. CivilSerpentsScholarsArePedoPerverts said

    Yam is ‘jiak liao bee’ (waste of rice) and ‘hum ji’ (ball-less), too afraid to reply with constructive solution.

  9. Derp said

    Ms Chong can replace that useless MP as MP.

  10. TheOne said

    Dear Alex,

    Well I can empathise with your frustration now la. Frankly, I can see that you saw the opportunity and ceased it! I mean, which politician would miss the opportunity to score some political points by not supporting a special needs kid right? Crazy right??

    Accept that you didn’t count on having to actually do some homework to check the facts. See Alex, its more than just throwing around labels like “special needs” or “I am a PAP MP” or using the “S’porean vs FTs argunment” to gain support. Those days are gone liao. You need to actually walk the ground, talk to the people involve and see for yourself what exactly is going on before shooting your guns from the hips la. Sadly, the days when PAP is the almighty is gone. As a MP for the PAP, you no longer have political advantage and have to do much more work than the opposition MPs because frankly, we are quite sick and tired of your party’s goof ups year after year after year.

    Speaking of political disadvantage, you now see how we S’poreans feel that we don’t have homeground advantage anymore? Same thing lor.. So you understand how we actually feel right? And you cannot say that this is not true hor because your boss have been rolling back goodies for the PRs and Foreigners since the GE2011. Taste of your own medicine is not so nice ya.

    Tsk, feel so sorry I have to watse time and space in cyberspace to teach you how to be a politician. But if I don’t do it, who will? Anyway, I suggest you get out there and speak to people la. The weather is a bit hot I know, and you might need to bring along an umbrella to shelter yourself and maybe bring along some cooling tea or panadol in case the heat gives you a migraine. But I think you will have a better idea of what is going on and then you can engage all of us a little better.

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