Media Division, Ministry of Information and The Arts, 36th Storey, PSA Building, 460 Alexandra Road, Singapore 119963. Tel: 3757794/5
ADDENDUM TO PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS IN PARLIAMENT
MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT
Mr Yeo Cheow Tong
Minister for the Environment
1. Economic growth and rising affluence will pose new environmental challenges. Singaporeans will demand higher standards of public health and cleanliness, and good air and water quality.
2. We will put in place a first-rate environmental infrastructure for solid and liquid waste disposal. Environmental protection and public health programmes will keep pollution and infectious diseases in check. Our air and water quality will continue to meet international standards, food will be safe to consume, and sources and modes of transmission of infectious diseases will be kept under control.
3. High public health standards require surveillance, enforcement, and education. We need the full cooperation of the public. We will pursue public education programmes to nurture an environmentally conscious population that will help keep Singapore clean.
4. We have to find new ways to overcome the manpower shortage, such as corporatisation, mechanisation of manual tasks and re-design of walkways and drains to reduce the need for cleansing.
5. As spelt out in the Singapore Green Plan, the ministry will implement programmes on environmental education, environmental technology, resource conservation, clean technology, and environmental noise.
ENVIRONMENTAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES
6. We will develop new refuse handling and disposal facilities to cope with the increasing amount of refuse generated. An offshore sanitary landfill at Pulau Semakau will be completed by 1999. A fourth refuse incineration plant will be built, and a fifth planned. We will promote the use of the pneumatic refuse collection system in public housing estates and private developments to improve refuse collection services.
7. Given the high cost of these facilities, we will strongly encourage households and industries to generate less waste. We will also promote recycling and waste minimisation programmes where these make economic sense.
8. We will upgrade the six existing sewage treatment works progressively to cope with increasing wastewater volumes. Concurrently, the sewer reticulation system will be upgraded and extended. We are studying a Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS), a multi-billion dollar programme to provide an efficient system for collecting, treating and disposing of wastewater as a long-term solution. This will free up valuable land for other uses.
9. We will implement drainage schemes for flood prevention ahead of large-scale land developments. Our waterways will be regularly maintained and improved to enhance their recreational value. We will reconstruct the river-walls of the Singapore River. When the barrage across the mouth of Marina Bay is built, the river will have a pleasant waterfront with a placid waterbody to complement and support our riverside development plans.
10. We will continue to monitor air and water quality, and environmental noise levels, to protect the quality of our environment.
11. We will cooperate with countries in the region and the international community to reduce transboundary pollution and protect the global environment.
12. We will continue our enforcement efforts to encourage Singaporeans to be environmentally responsible. Public education programmes will make Singaporeans more aware of public health issues, and motivate them to refrain from anti-social behaviour. We will pay particular attention to the cleanliness of housing estates and public toilets, and littering.
13. We will maintain vigilance over the infectious disease situation and other environment-related health problems. In particular, we will strive to reduce the incidence of dengue fever. This means eliminating stagnant water in drains and gutters, research to determine reliable entomological indicators which will provide early warning of impending dengue outbreaks, and licensing Environmental Control Officers to check the environmental health aspects of buildings and construction sites.
14. We will sell more hawker stalls at a discount to stallholders, so that they can own assets and take a stake in the country.