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 PLAY AREA BY DAY, MAKE-OUT CORNER BY NIGHT

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PostSubject: PLAY AREA BY DAY, MAKE-OUT CORNER BY NIGHT   Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:48 pm

PLAY AREA BY DAY, MAKE-OUT CORNER BY NIGHT

Keep private acts out of public places

Haig Road residents say they also put up with loud foreigners, drunks, violent groups in public areas

By Zaihan Mohamed Yusof
January 25, 2009


AN open area in an HDB estate on Haig Road is a children's playground by day and a lovers' haunt by night.



Once it's dark, it's common to see couples gathering at quiet spots and in the small pavilions in thearea.

They usually just chat or cuddle.

But now some of them are getting bolder and engage in more intimate acts there.

One resident said he had been 'twice unlucky' in one night when he witnessed people making out inpublic.

Mr Nasser M, 48, said he was at the carpark when he saw the two incidents take place at the same pavilion - one of three in the estate - barely two hours apart.

Said the offshore worker: 'It was three weeks ago when my friend and I had a rude shock. We were talking at my parked car when we saw the first 'show' at 2.30am. The culprits were not aware of us.

'I'm upset because this is a public place, not some budget hotel. What if there had been children watching?

'You do not want young people to think that this type of thing is all right to do in public,' he said.


SPORTS AREA, NOT BEDROOM: When the lights at this basketball court at Haig Road go off at about 11pm, couples start streaming in, making for the darkest spots. --PICTURES: ZAIHAN MOHAMED YUSOF

Mr Nasser said he was not the only resident who saw the first incident, which involved two men and a young woman.

A third-floor neighbour, whose window faces the pavilions, saw it too.

Added Mr Nasser, a resident of Block 7: 'Luckily, his teenage daughter was asleep. The pavilions are less than 20m from her bedroom window.'

At the time, it did not occur to him to call the police.

Didn't confront them
'Most people were asleep by then and I had to consider that the two fit-looking men could take offence and attack me if I told them to stop,' he said.

'There had been fights in the estate previously involving drunken foreigners.'

The three people, who were quiet throughout their tryst, left soon after.

About two hours later, an 'uncle' and a younger woman turned up at the pavilion. Through the dim light, Mr Nasser saw the woman lying on the stone table while the older man caressed her.

During a three-hour stakeout on Monday , this reporter also saw two incidents of what looked like public sex.

Couples often leave a trail of trash behind, residents said.

They also had other concerns, like the homeless who sleep under void decks and the occasional drunks.

Said Madam Violet Chan, 70: 'I have seen young and elderly couples sitting in dark corners. I just don't know why they don't go home or choose a more romantic place.'

The retiree said she pitied the estate cleaner who would have to clear up every morning.

Empty drink bottles, tissue paper and packets of half-eaten food are strewn around the lovers' haunt, despite there being dustbins a few metres away.

Added Madam Chan, who has lived there for more than 20 years: 'I worry that children can get hurt when they accidentally step on the bottles left at the playground or basketball court.'

Madam Chan said she had noticed the change in the estate two years ago.

On weekends, the quiet estate, dubbed 'Little Batam' by some, becomes a meeting point for foreign workers.

Overcrowding at City Plaza and the nearby hawker centre causes the crowd to spill over into the estate, she said.

Said Madam Chan, whose husband is on the residents' committee: 'Most times, residents close one eye to what is happening. We don't want any trouble. We understand that people need to hang out.

'But talking loudly at night and dirtying the estate upsets residents.'

The retiree, whose flat faces a basketball court, said the authorities had been informed and she sees regular police patrols at night.

Noisy
One man, who works closely with the residents' committee, said the most frequent feedback from residents is about noise pollution.

It hopes to educate couples and others hanging out in the estate at night to respect the sentiments of the residents, said the man who did not want to be identified.

The gatherings have sometimes turned nasty, especially when women were involved, said Mr Nasser.

About two years ago, neighbours were awoken by a fight near the playground when a group of men, believed to have been drinking, lashed out at another group, he said.

The residents said they had to also endure the stench of urine at the staircases. Drunks and the homeless use the staircases as toilets at night.

One 53-year-old man, who gave his name only as Pak Man, usually sleeps under the Haig Road blocks but insisted that he is not homeless.

He claimed he often takes a nap there at night because he is too tired to cycle home.

'I get stares from residents and I often get 'spot-checked' by the police,' said Pak Man.

'This estate is a central place for my friends to meet. Many of us were former residents of Geylang Serai, who like to chat about those days.'

Source: http://newpaper.asia1.com.sg/news/story/0,4136,190818,00.html?
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