When the Noise is really not about the Noise

Seriously, I am not sure if they are really being xenophobic, or are these people just trying to stoke Singaporeans’ emotions against foreigners for their own agenda to attack the Government.

The net has been abuzzed with the story of the drummer boy for the past couple of days.

There have been many instances of squabbles amongst neighbours.  But this one has taken the extra beating.  Why?

First reported by Temasek Review and Temasek Times (by the way, the two are probably run by the same people)

HEADLINE :- “ HARASSED by Pinoy neighbor ” – note, this is not any neighour, but a Pinoy neighbour.

First Paragraph :- “In other countries, immigrants

Second Paragraph:- ” the peculiar habits of their Filipino neighbor”

Third Paragraph:- “The Pinoy family..”

Notice the frequencies of the mention of the drummer being a “foreigner” in just the top portion of the article ?

And yes,  I have blanked out the address, including the unit number which Temasek Times have no qualms in posting for the whole world to see.

Scroll down the article, –>

Above, Mediacorp, HDB and MP Alex Yam were accused of taking side with the drummer because he is a foreigner.

Once again, further down the article, it is not just anybody’s home, it is a “… Filipino’s home”

Oh! whatever happens to the video by the way?  Has ”the noise” really been “amplified” in the video so to amplify the problem ?

Sounds like u guys just recorded the video then put in an audio soundtrack in.  The proximity of the sound and the distance its coming from does not make sense.  There are even echoes, how is tht even possible.” 

Or was it after what Alex Yam has posted:-

 Thanks again Jessica, you’ll notice from the date the video was posted was early in March.  The issue was resolved on 24 March after the RC and HDB were alerted and were asked to step in.”

As usual, the attack came in swiftly the moment the article surfaced.   Alex Yam probably see more traffic within a day than all the months added together since his Facebook was borned.  Bullets filled with gun fire against foreigners, Alex Yam and PAP went haywire.

As if above are not enough, Temasek Review and certain quarters went a step further today.  They posted photos of a Filipino teenager whom they claim is the drummer, complete with his personal profile.

Purpose of the above? From the comments, I gather it is to show that the drummer is not a kid with special needs as per Alex Yam’s understanding.

(Just curious, IF the boy is suffering from ASD or ADHD, how can one tell just base on photos? I have a ASD little neighbour and sometimes I forget that he is a special need child, even after a chat. Well, perhaps I am not as smart as those people.)  

And then what next? Are they going to gang up and throw more eggs at the drummer and his family? Which, sadly, had already happened. (see Alex Yam’s note below)

What if the boy in the photo is not the drummer?

And if the drummer boy is indeed a special need child ?

Can these people who so often portray themselves as being righteous, live with that on their conscience?

My point is, as much as I empathize with residents for the noise disturbance from all the drumming, the matter should be settled harmoniously amongst the neighbours.

The nationality of the parties involve SHOULD NOT be an issue at all.

I fear that the issue has been exploited to incite hatred towards another human race.  And those who fan the flame, what is their real agenda?  Haven’t they gone too far?


Dear friends,

Some of us might be aware that the issue of drumming at a unit in Blk 608 in Yew Tee has sparked a flurry of online comments.

When asked what I thought, I felt penning down the facts of the case might be helpful.

I am all for the harmony of this neighborhood, I believe that disputes should generally be settled face to face through mutual sharing between parties involved.

When the issue first surfaced, I asked my RC leaders to visit the unit and requested for HDB to help in the follow-up to find a compromise, even though it would be outside the board’s purview.

Immediate neighbors were not adverse in their feedback, some even supportive.  The family promised to adhere to agreed curfew hours which our volunteers kept a close monitor on.

The only exception was an extra 30 on one Saturday afternoon.  All this time, the volunteers and HDB kept me closely updated with the developments.

Even when the original petitioner petitioned me again, and I made a second request to HDB to relook into the matter, I was told that curfew timings were consistent and the family even took extra steps to further reduce noise levels.

At this time, I learnt that the drummer is a special needs student with mild learning disability.  To help with his psycho-motor skills, he took up drumming.

The family had been made to understand that strict practice timings should be adhered to and additional sound-proofing be done wherever possible. A letter from the principal should also be obtained.

But what happened subsequently took everyone by surprise.  Eggs were thrown at the door of the drummer’s flat. Upset this has happened, neighbors on the 5th and 4th floor also got involved.

Soon after, the issue made the blogs and other websites. It has now taken a life of its own almost completely divorced from the original issue, which is highly unfortunate.

But I realized that it does give an opportunity to all of us to reflect on an emotive topic.
Let me state categorically that painting the issue as one about foreigners versus locals is highly inappropriate.

This issue is clearly about noise disturbance. It is about learning to live with each other in a community, co-existing with each other.

Everyone involved in the issue are long time residents of Yew Tee and all add to the vibrant tapestry that makes up our town.

I am thankful for all the comments on the issue via SMS, FB, messages and emails – those supportive and those who disagree.

But I am somewhat saddened that though as emotional this has become, the discussion has completely gone off track. With some comments, it has become almost a witch-hunt which is disheartening.

In cases of neighbor disputes, my team and I at Yew Tee have always encouraged parties involved to first attempt to resolve it amicably through polite communication.

Our preserve is the harmony of this community, and we hope in all cases for a compromise to be reached. The RC and CMC will step in after but it will require the agreement of both parties.

In extreme cases, a magistrate’s complaint can be filed. Many incidents have been resolved through communications between residents.

I seek the cooperation of everyone to not let the issue become an even more emotive one.

Source : Anything & Whatever ~ When the Noise is really not about the Noise


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