Natural to feed the monkeys? Educated adults should know better

Letter from Agnes Tan Suan Ping (Mdm), Straits Times Forum 2 Jan 08;

I REFER to Ms Arti Mulchand's article, 'They're still feeding the monkeys' (ST, Dec 31).

Any visitor to the Lower Peirce Reservoir would have seen the sign - 'Stop feeding the monkeys'. When my children aged nine and 11 read the sign, they questioned why people were still feeding the monkeys.

So, if an educated man such as Mr Joseph Ng (an engineer) alleged that he did not know it is an offence to feed the monkeys since the words are in fine print, then he must have understood the sign in its plain English.

As an adult, he should educate the young ones and not simply justify his own actions by saying it was only natural to feed the monkeys and help entertain 'the kids'.

How would Mr Ng react if the monkeys were to attack him and the family members who were with him? Will he sue the National Parks Board for the monkeys' acts of aggression or will he learn his lesson, albeit the painful way?

If educated people fail to grasp the rationale of not feeding the monkeys, how does NParks attempt to educate park visitors?

We are all creatures of habits. If park visitors continue to feed the monkeys and, hence, turning them to be more aggressive, we become killers when the monkeys are culled because of our ignorance.

Anyone who spots those feeding monkeys should capture the act on cellphone or camera and post clip on Stomp
Goh Sock Hoon (Ms), Straits Times Forum 2 Jan 08;

I REFER to the report on rampant monkey feeding in parks, 'They're still feeding the monkeys' (ST, Dec 31), and congratulate The Straits Times team for capturing people like Mr Joseph Ng and family in action.

My family are regular visitors of parks in Singapore, and continue to count our blessings for a wonderful job done by the National Environment Agency (NEA).

At the Botanic Gardens, visitors blatantly disregard signages about not feeding pigeons. Warnings about fines do not work because these culprits do not believe they will get caught.

Neither do we believe that the NEA should spend more of taxpayers' money patrolling the parks. We believe the best patrollers are other park-goers who want to enjoy the serenity, beauty and safety of our parks.

Anybody who spots a culprit should capture it on his cellphone or camera and post it on Stomp.

The NEA could use the help of the public to identify these people, whether online or through published pictures in the papers.

With increasing affluence in Singapore, fines by itself may not be the best remedy. These culprits should be sent to stand next to these signages to give out leaflets telling why we should not feed the pigeons or monkeys.