Rain rain go away

Usually we use the phrase ‘to save for a rainy day’. Everyone knows a bad time will come, so we put something aside for this future need. Well, the idea is similar for fixing water leaks. Only the execution is quite the inverse. On sunny days we fix the roof. On rainy months like now till Feb-Mar 2021, we save up.

This time of the year, Singapore is experiencing the monsoon season of rainy days. But it may last longer than usual due to the following event.

“La Nina-like conditions have descended upon the Southeast Asia region since August 2020, with further cooling in September, according to Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS). These conditions include changes in the sea surface temperature, cloudiness, and winds over the tropical Pacific Ocean. MSS’s models are predicting La Niña conditions to last through to March 2021Mothership.sg

A number of condos with roof leaks are now stuck in a limbo. Firstly the covid-induced circuit breaker disrupted the construction industry. Many contractors are working on backlog jobs with lesser workers from Malaysia, and a higher cost structure.

Secondly, the La Nina daily showers of rain inhibits worktime on roof. It also prevents any waterproofing substrate from bonding perfectly and creating a long lasting tight seal (requires a minimum of 24- 48 hours of dry conditions). Most substrates can still bond in wet conditions, but instead of lasting 15 years, it’s lifespan will be compromised.

As such, both factors escalate the cost.

Here comes the limbo within the MCST. The top floor units and those affected by water leaks face the agony every time it rains. Seems like a few months till sunny days ahead. Logic gets cast aside and they will vote for an immediate repair, no matter the costs.

Needless to say, those units unaffected by leaks will reject the use of funds. Or at least wait till sunnier days when the cost is lower, and the lifespan of repairs can meet a minimum number of years ideally. The majority will fall in this category.

Meanwhile we pray for the rain to go away, for happier neighbors make a neighborhood livable and pleasant. Rain rain please go away.

‘Normally I’d be optimistic that we could work out a little problem like this.’

HDB better than condo, in the social media age

In a recent post on Instagram, social media influencer Xiaxue highlighted the ‘derelict’ state of her HDB common areas in Hougang. Lo and behold!

Cover pic and above pic from Xiaxue instagram account

Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) wasted no time in addressing her concerns. Aside from explaining the situation online, AHTC also engaged workers the following day to fix the chipped cement surfaces and painted over the ceiling. https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/xiaxue-raises-concerns-about-destitute-state-her-hougang-hdb-block-town-council-responds

Pound for pound, in a Condo setting the Managing agent would have to …

  1. Get MCST council approval
  2. Mobilise contractors to do minor repairs
  3. Supervise minor works and ensure completion
  4. Release official statement to all residents

All within 24 hours.

Here’s the extra points. AHTC ended their note with “The town council recognises that there is always room for improvement, and welcomes feedback from residents.” My idol MA. Such eagerness and endearing level of service reminds me of SG in the 1980s or Japan today.

Not only that, in this instance the Public model trumps the Private model in both cost and efficiency. An extremely rare sighting for me.

Related posts: “Public amenities well managed. Superbly efficient with social media.”