I refer to the recent media reports about LTA requiring Crime Library Singapore to remove its "missing persons" posters at bus stops and pedestrian walkways.
As a member of the general public, I am writing to register my strong displeasure and disapproval with the way LTA is behaving. I urge LTA to stop obstructing the highly laudable efforts of kind-hearted and well-intentioned volunteers. They are only trying to help solve crimes and reunite families with their missing loved ones.
Even if you have no compassion, please exercise a little common sense and be more flexible with your rules. Why do you wish to inflict a PR disaster on yourself?
Click here if you also wish to give feedback to the LTA. I shall also be calling the LTA public hotline to give them a good scolding. Call this number 1800 - 2255 582 if you want to scold them too.
This ST article provides the background:
April 28, 2006
Remove missing persons' posters: LTA Crime Library not budging; LTA warns it could be fined
By Khushwant Singh
THE Land Transport Authority (LTA) has ordered Crime Library Singapore to remove the thousands of missing persons' posters that its volunteers put up at bus stops and pedestrian walkways.
However, the Crime Library said it would not be taking the posters down. When contacted on Tuesday, the charity's founder, Mr Joseph Tan, 40, said: 'They are not advertisements but are notices seeking information on missing persons.
'We are performing a public service and it would be disheartening to get our volunteers to remove the notices they so painstakingly put up.'
He stressed that the volunteers often paid for printing costs out of their own pockets and that the notices have proved to be very effective. Since last December, the posters had helped locate about 110 of the 143 missing persons reported to the Crime Library.
In a letter to Mr Tan's organisation dated April 19, the LTA said it had found a Crime Library advertisement affixed to a bus stop column along Dunearn Road two days earlier.
LTA said: 'You are to refrain from displaying such advertisements on public streets, road structures and road-related facilities. Please also remove all other banners and posters that you may displayed without approval at other locations immediately.'
It warned the Crime Library that offenders could be fined up to $2,000 and in the case of a continuing offence, a further fine of up to $100 a day may be levied.
Mr Tan could not say how many posters have been put up but estimated that his 230 volunteers had pasted them at over 3,000 venues, including bus stops.
He set up Crime Library Singapore in 2002 as a free service to help with unsolved crimes and disappearances.
It was registered as a charity with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore last September. At the same time, it was accepted as a member of the National Council of Social Service.
Its website features 36 missing persons, including 14-year-old student Wong Yu Ting, who has not been seen since Feb 24.
The Straits Times talked to the girl's 43-year-old father, who wanted to be known only as Mr Wong.
He said: 'The Crime Library is doing a good deed ... 'I would feel terrible if it got into trouble by helping people like me.'
I remember watching a TV programme about Joseph Tan. What made him start the Crime Library? Years ago, one of his loved ones (his brother?) was kidnapped in another country. Ransom negotiations with the kidnappers failed, and the brother was murdered. The body was never found. The kidnappers were never caught.
This traumatic incident led to Joseph founding Crime Library Singapore, a group which helps to solve unsolved crimes by publicising missing persons and asking the public to provide information if they have any. Last year, Joseph Tan also coordinated a massive island-wide search with his volunteers in an effort to help find the missing little girl Huang Na (murder victim of Took Leng How).
Look at LTA's very poor explanation of why they are doing what they are doing to Crime Library Singapore:
In reply to queries from The Straits Times, an LTA spokesman said that the indiscriminate display of advertisements mars the streetscape and causes damage to roadside railings, bus stops, pedestrian bridges and lamp posts.
She added: 'The illegal advertisements may also obstruct passersby or distract drivers and pose a safety hazard.'
Then take a look at this picture of what Crime Library is actually doing:
Those three little A4-sized posters - do they mar the streetscape? Damage roadside railings or bus stops? Destroy pedestrian bridges and lamp posts? Obstruct passersby? Distract drivers? Pose safety hazards?
Mr Wang applauds and celebrates Joseph's fighting spirit in standing up to the authorities. Strangely, Joseph's resistance reminds me of my previous post on how to deal with traditional authorities if you need to do great things.
As for LTA - Mr Wang spits on LTA. So should the parents of all the missing children whom Crime Library is working hard every day to find.