Reply in Straits Times Forum
WE THANK Mr Tan Kin Lian for his feedback ('Renovation certification: It does not make sense to impose such a heavy fee for small premises'; Dec 2).
Major G. Gobi
Senior Staff Officer (Media Analysis) Public Affairs Department
Singapore Civil Defence Force
It is nice of Major Gobi to give a detailed reply. This is quite rare nowadays. In most cases, the relevant department ignore the issue, pretending that it is somebody else business.
Here are the points that I will be sending directly to Major Gobi:
1. Market forces does not work.
2. Consumers are being fleeced to pay high fees for minor work.
3. I have asked 4 renovation contractors to quote for the work - all of them added the cost of around $3,500 for the fire safety works, even though it is mainly minor addition/ alternation to the premises.
4. It is easy for SCDF to regulate the fee for small scale work - rather than leave the public to be fleeced
5. The SCDF can make enquiry with the public on how much they are paying to meet the fire safety requirements, rather than say "leave it to the market".
I will send the letter to Straits Times again, but they may not publish my letter.