If not for bureaucracy, we could have killed two birds with one stone

S and I were at East Coast Park over the weekend. Wah… that place really a lot of pokemons! Specifically this:


No no… I’ve not gone over to the Pokemon side. I still haven’t downloaded the game. It’s S. She’s obsessed. Sort of. And since there were so many Charmanders! I think S got a good haul. So I think we will be hanging at East Coast Park a lot more often.

But there’s one thing about East Coast Park that S can’t stand. The lack of cleanliness of the toilets there. I must admit, the cleanliness of the toilets at East Coast Park certainly leaves much to be desired. S asked a friend of hers who works in NParks why the toilets in East Coast Park are so dirty.


Apparently there are two reasons.

Firstly, the toilets there are highly used. Not only because there are many people going to the beach. But also because there are a number of homeless people. Secondly, the people cleaning the toilets tend to be older. So they are unlikely to be able to properly clean the toilets.

When I heard this, I thought that the problem holds its own solution!

There are homeless people, who presumably are low income. There is a job that needs to be done well. Why not get the homeless people to clean the toilets? Pay them a reasonable wage to do that. Wouldn’t that kill two birds with one stone? On one hand, this would help to supplement the income for the homeless people. On the other hand, East Coast Park will finally have cleaner toilets!

Brilliant, right?

But S pointed out that it’s not possible. How would the procurement process be like? Cannot just anyhow get homeless people to clean the toilets. And so such a brilliant plan can’t see the light of day just because of bureaucracy.

Ok. Fine. This plan probably isn’t as brilliant as I think it is. But I wonder how many truly brilliant plans die before they are even conceived because of bureaucracy? Hopefully there are enough people in our government who are willing to question assumptions, challenge the norms, and not let bureaucracy stop us from taking the bold steps for the best of Singapore.


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