Singapore

Owner of koi fish tank asks for permission to keep it outside

This article is more than 12 months old

Tampines GRC MP says it is likely to be allowed if found to be safe

The owner of an eye-catching koi fish tank built on the stepped entrance to a ground floor Housing Board flat in Tampines has asked the town council for permission to keep it where it is.

The town council said the owner was previously unaware that a permit was required.

Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng told The Straits Times yesterday that the tank is likely to be allowed if it is found to be structurally sound and safe.

He said the community has been accepting of the tank and it is not obstructive, even though it is located in a public space.

Mr Baey said there may have to be an undertaking by the owner to be responsible for the tank, adding that this was not carte blanche for residents.

"If we do get this through (and give the permit), it does not mean people can do what they like with common spaces," he said. "It is always good to check with the authorities first."

ST understands it will take at least a week for any permit to be issued to the owner.

Yesterday, the home owner, who declined to give his name, said he had decided to mount the fish tank on the steps as he had little room for it indoors.

"Outside, it is nicer for everyone to see. The neighbours can appreciate it and enjoy it also," he said.

The blue tank, with its glass walls sealed to the concrete of the steps and wall, is located at Block 415 in Tampines Street 41.

Though it blocks the entrance to the flat, the family can access their home through the adjacent unit, which they also own.

One of the man's neighbours, who wanted to be known only as Hassan, 53, said the tank is "unique and nice". The driver said: "So long as it is safe, not obstructive (and the) town council approves, I think it is okay."

There have been other instances of residents decorating or altering public spaces.

In December, carpenter Tan Koon Tat embellished his Woodlands estate with handmade Christmas decorations and a snow machine, after he was given approval by the Marsiling-Yew Tee Town Council.

But in March, 24 gold flags at Block 103 Jalan Rajah were removed after residents complained. They had been put up by artist Priyageetha Dia, 26.

Jalan Besar GRC MP Lily Neo said while there are town council by-laws, official approval also depends on the impact on the community.

"The feedback from residents was it looked like joss paper," said Dr Neo of the gold flags.

Mr Baey said the authorities try to be flexible. - ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY TIMOTHY GOH

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