'I don't feel secure living here any more'

Residents in the Bangkit area of Bukit Panjang were unaware that an unknown number of people were living close to them in the drainage canal.

Those who were told about it were surprised and upset by the presence of these strangers in their midst.

Miss Jasmine Lee, 40, who lives in Block 270, Bangkit Road, said: "I can't believe there is such a thing happening in Singapore. I don't feel secure living here any more."

The quality assurance manager said many people frequent the park connector, which is above the drainage canal, on weekends.

Miss Lee, who has lived there for about 25 years, said: "I think somebody needs to come here and get involved. Why are they even living there?"

A jogger, who declined to be named, said he had no idea there are people living in the canal, despite having jogged there for more than five years.

He said: "I would definitely be more cautious (jogging here) now."

A resident at Petir Road, Mr Ng Hock Bee, 65, said he had seen people loitering around the area at night but he never suspected anything was amiss.

The retiree said: "Maybe they have lost their homes or their jobs and have no other choice. But people should not live in longkangs (drains).

"Get them out of there."