Connect with us


Debate erupts over suggestion of family involvement in Corrective Work Orders

Singaporean netizens debate the efficacy of involving families in littering punishments as proposed by the Chairman of the Public Hygiene Council. Some advocate for individual responsibility, proposing alternatives like public shaming and increased enforcement. Others emphasize the importance of education in shaping attitudes towards cleanliness, contrasting with current practices.



corrective work order (CWO)
(Photo: NEA)

SINGAPORE: Chairman of the Public Hygiene Council, Andrew Khng, is proposing a novel idea that has sparked widespread discussion among netizens.

He suggested that offenders serving Corrective Work Orders (CWO) should do so alongside their families.

The efficacy of CWOs, often assigned to repeat littering offenders, has come under scrutiny by experts.

While offenders are mandated to clean public areas for a minimum of three hours, wearing conspicuous vests, doubts persist regarding its deterrent effect.

Talking to CNA, Dr Serene Koh, director of The Behavioural Insights Team, emphasized that the certainty of being caught holds more sway as a deterrent than the severity of the penalty itself.

Despite the element of shame associated with CWO due to their visibility, Dr Koh pointed out that the lack of recognition undermines its effectiveness in instilling shame.

“For something to be shameful, people need to recognise you, and you need to be identifiable. But if people are doing a one-off CWO on Orchard Road, nobody sees them. They’re wearing a cap and a mask, then how is it shameful?” she asked.

Chairman Andrew Khng floated the idea of involving entire families in CWO, potentially enhancing the punishment’s impact, particularly for those with children.

“The whole family (should) do it. Then, the pain is not necessarily (for) the one person, but is the whole family going together, even with your maid,” he said.

In the case of those with children, the impact will be greater, he said.

To augment surveillance against littering, authorities are planning to quadruple closed-circuit television deployments, increasing from 250 to 1,000 yearly.

Additionally, the National Environment Agency intends to intensify cleanliness operations, aiming to conduct over 100 blitzes at “cleanliness hotspots” compared to 21 the previous year.

Beyond littering, Singapore is also addressing concerns about public toilet cleanliness.

A newly formed Public Toilets Taskforce will focus on improving hygiene standards, particularly in coffee shops and hawker centers.

This initiative responds to longstanding grievances about the dismal state of public toilets, highlighted in recent surveys conducted by the Waterloo study.

Ms Rosie Ching, principal lecturer of Statistics at the Singapore Management University, underscored the persisting challenges in maintaining clean public toilets, attributing part of the problem to outdated infrastructure.

She advocated for hygiene ratings akin to food stalls to incentivize better upkeep.

Dr Koh emphasized the societal reliance on a substantial cleaning workforce, prompting reflection on Singapore’s cleanliness standards.

She warned against taking cleaners for granted, envisioning a stark contrast in Singapore’s cleanliness if their services were absent for even a day, urging greater appreciation for their contributions.

“And that might actually be a wake up call for us to say, it actually took us hundreds and thousands of cleaners who have done this and we take them for granted.”

Netizens disagree with expert, oppose family involvement in CWO

Under a recent Facebook post by CNA, numerous netizens have engaged in a lively debate surrounding the effectiveness of Corrective Work Orders (CWO) and proposed alternative measures to curb littering offenses.

One user argued that the problem lies not with the effectiveness of CWO but with the limited number of people caught for littering.

They highlighted the disparity between the number of offenders caught and the larger pool of litterbugs who continue unabated.

The user also pointed out that if the expert believes that individuals caught littering won’t feel embarrassed, a more effective solution could be to assign them the task of sweeping the block where they reside.

comment Corrective Work Orders

In response to suggestions about involving families in CWOs, another user proposes a different approach to instilling shame in offenders.

Rather than subjecting entire families to punishment, they advocate for public shaming through social media platforms, emphasizing the individual responsibility of the offender.

comment Corrective Work Orders

Amidst these discussions, one user offers suggestions for enhancing the effectiveness of anti-littering measures.

They propose increasing the presence of official enforcers, implementing on-the-spot fines, and redirecting offenders to clean public toilets as more viable alternatives to punitive actions involving families.


Netizens discuss education’s role in Singapore’s littering problem

Some netizens turned their focus towards Singapore’s education system as they discussed the root causes of littering habits.

One user highlighted the importance of education in shaping attitudes towards cleanliness, citing Japan as a model.

They noted that in Japan, children are taught from a young age to clean up after themselves, leading to a cleaner environment despite fewer rubbish bins.

The user contrasted this with Singapore, where despite ample bin availability, littering remains a problem, suggesting a need for similar educational initiatives.


Another user reminisced about Singapore’s past cleanliness, attributing it to the emphasis on cleanliness instilled in students during their schooling years.

They recalled a time when students were tasked with cleaning their schools daily, fostering a sense of responsibility for their environment.

However, the user lamented the current trend of outsourcing cleaning duties to contractors, which they believed has led to complacency among students who no longer feel accountable for maintaining cleanliness.


Share this post via:
Continue Reading
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

So if Iswaran is found corrupt and jailed, shouldn’t his whole family and his boss also join him in jail. Same logic, hor.

But again, one set of rules for the common Singaporeans; another set for foreigners, and yet another set for themselves. Uniquely SG, indeed.

This is entirely against the regime’s practice of “no blame culture” !!!

To drift from that, … to laying the blame on the entire family, is a step too far and to the extreme !!!

Anyways, … shame is best delivered publicly, and if they aren’t easily recognisable, it is what it is. Why drag the rest of the “uninvolved” family into the shame corner, … which isn’t the most ethical or equitable way of dispensing “justice” !!!

If you don’t allow the third world in, this won’t be a problem. So the direction you should be looking at is the ICA. Why not punish civil servants in the ICA if those offending are new citizens, PRs or on visas.? Trace the officers who approved the visas and make them join the clean up. MOM officers should also be included.

Family ask Ho Jinx lah very family oriented what???
She will approve. Hahaha.
Maybe new family member Lawrence Wong will join in.
He can invite his Close buddies from China as well. Hahaha
LW your close buddies soon going to have some Real Fun. Get Ready!!!!

Andrew Khng a chairman, coming up with such a sick idea.
The poor quite certain even the litterbug wouldnt wish their family to be paraded as such..
If so why not parade murderers..thieves..rapists etc too…

Shaming for peanut issue but not sexual predators issues especially empire related … Very good our justice system.

Recall the Pasir Ris park incident where a local INDIAN scolded an expat INDIAN family for not wearing mask during the covid period (where wearing of mask was mandatory). Why police listen to the expat’s complaint of being subjected to racial attack and called up the local INDIAN for question and MSM make sure the public know he was given a stern warning. Yet the expat INDIAN was not investigated for not wearing mask, which could carry a fine or jail term. This is how our policy-makers use of public shaming to correct anti-social behavior, hor? Apparently it applies only… Read more »

Keeping SG clean is another absolute FAILURE under the Kayu Boy. Under the 1G and 2G teams, I recall places as very clean – there were dustbins on alternate lamp posts in carparks, dustbins at void decks, at every bus stop, sweepers were mostly locals with the right local mentality towards society, fallen leaves were swept up and bagged, etc. Nowadays, places look “so unclean” – total failure to maintain what the older generations had achieved. This is due to FAILED leadership/policies, pushing accountability onto the citizens instead of the relevant authorities themselves. Like bo-liao to get strong mandate in… Read more »

So if Andrew Khng gets fucked for doing a rash act on the roads or driving without consideration for other road users, which I am very sure there were times that he did so, he should also bring along his entire family, grand ma ,grand pa and the others to be fucked by the other road users who encountered his rash act?
Sounds like this works for him!😆😆😆😆