Sembawang Family Lets The Cat Out Of The Bag

When Education Minister Ong Ye Kung did a walkabout at his ward in Sembawang GRC, he would have known that not every single resident would open their doors to him. But he probably wouldn’t have expected that one of the families that weren’t there would nevertheless leave him a little surprise on their door.

The Tan family apologised to Mr Ong for most of them not being at home, but they did leave a photo of a family member who was at home — the family cat Meow Meow, who was unable to open the door.

It seemed to have charmed Mr Ong so much that he shared it on his Facebook profile on Friday (Aug 4):


Cat In A Flat

Mr Ong described the Tan family’s note as “warm” and a “delightful surprise”, and the cat as “a charmer”, but notably, he didn’t mention something else.


He didn’t mention that cats are actually banned from Housing Board flats, and for the most illogical of reasons. Read our story on why the HDB’s cat ban is illogical.

In April, the HDB told a resident to get rid of her cats after her neighbours complained that she made too much noise when talking to her cats.

And from the note, the Tan family did refer to their “block”, which means it’s very likely that they live in an HDB flat.

Don’t Know Or Don’t Care?

So judging from the HDB’s past history with cats, it came as a surprise that the Tan family dared to reveal that they owned one to a Minister.

However, while the HDB has a problem with cats, it seems Mr Ong does not.

Does the minister not know the rules, or did he just ignore them?

It would be very surprising if Mr Ong didn’t know the rules, so it’s more likely that he just ignored them.

And if he ignored them, that may show that like most of the cat lovers in Singapore, Mr Ong doesn’t think it’s a rule worth bothering about.

Not A Cat-astrophe

Most of us have expounded at length over the absurdity of the HDB’s cat ban.

And if even a minister can be charmed by the idea of a cat in a flat, it just confirms that the cat ban is an archaic law that has to go sooner rather than later.

It’s not enough to just not enforce it strictly, as the abovementioned cases have shown that it just takes one complaint for the lives of a cat owner and his/her furry friend to be changed forever.


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