SHANMUGAM: SOME CAT ACTIVISTS SPREAD LIES ONLINE TO SENSATIONALIZE THE AMK CAT ISSUE

I have been following the issue of stray cats in Nee Soon South. Some of the residents have been irresponsible in feeding stray cats without observing the proper hygiene procedures and follow-ups. This has led to unhappiness amongst residents over hygiene and inconvenience.

The MP in the constituency, Dr Lee Bee Wah, has the responsibility to deal with the issue – because her residents are complaining to her.

There has been a lot of false statements about what she has done/intends to do. Dr Lee, when she received the complaints, first approached the cat welfare activists on how to deal with the problem. She also polled residents on how they would like to deal with the stray cats. And she engaged cat lovers and tried to explain the situation and listen to their feedback.

No decision has been made on what to do with the cats, as yet. Dr Lee intends to work with the Cat Welfare Society, cat lovers and the relevant agencies to come up with solutions that would make sense for all.
One person who attended one of the engagement meetings went online to make untrue allegations, misrepresenting the discussions, and claiming that a decision has been made to cull the cats when that was simply untrue.

If we want to be a civil society solving problems together, we need to remain truthful, responsible and stick to the facts. It is unproductive to attack those who genuinely try to help and look after the interest of the greater community. Making false allegations sensationalises the situation, but is not a responsible thing to do; and will ultimately impact on how we can operate properly to deal with a community problem.

Just as important, activists have to be mindful there are many people who don’t like the disamenities that are caused by the actions of irresponsible cat feeders. These residents have rights too. And if they complain to the MP, then the MP has to take action. If they are in the majority, then their wishes cannot be disregarded, simply because a (smaller) group is more vocal. Those who don’t want the cats to be culled should come forward to suggest solutions, to help the residents. Dr Lee Bee Wah has tried to do that – by forming a group, comprising animal lovers, to see what can be done.

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