Best of our wild blogs: 3 Oct 14

Launched: Organic October and the #maketheswitch micro campaign
from Green Drinks Singapore

October and December - Pasir Ris Mangroves nature walks
from Adventures with the Naked Hermit Crabs

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New Municipal Services Office developing system for agencies to share feedback

Channel NewsAsia 2 Oct 14;

SINGAPORE: Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu said an integrated system being developed for the Municipal Services Office (MSO) will allow agencies to share and monitor all feedback on municipal issues.

Once operational, the eight participating agencies "will, at any one time, have access to case information, for example status and action taken, and work collaboratively to resolve the cases", Ms Fu, who is also the Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Foreign Affairs, wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday (Oct 2) - the day the MSO opened.

Ms Fu, who visited her team at the MSO this morning, said that the office will be offering a mobile app at the start of 2015, aimed at providing Singaporeans with another feedback channel. With geo-tagging and photo-taking features in the app, MSO will have precise information on the issues at hand to act quickly, the minister said.

She also told reporters that she had visited the Singapore Police Force and Land Transport Authority to better understand their operations. She will be making visits to the other six agencies - AVA, PUB, NEA, NParks, HDB and PA - that handle municipal issues, Ms Fu added.

- CNA/kk

MSO app to collect feedback to be ready in January
Today Online 2 Oct 14;

SINGAPORE — The smartphone application for the Municipal Services Office (MSO), which will allow the public to send their feedback quickly, will be ready by January.

The MSO will also be setting up an integrated system that will allow all eight participating agencies to monitor public feedback.

Announcing this on her Facebook page yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Grace Fu, who heads the MSO, said the agencies would have access to case information, such as status and action taken, and work together to resolve the cases.

The MSO, which comes under the Ministry of National Development, was first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the National Day Rally in August.

It is aimed at tackling the long-standing complaint that public feedback is at times bounced between agencies, instead of being quickly resolved.

The eight agencies working with the MSO are the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, PUB, the National Environment Agency, the National Parks Board, the Housing and Development Board, People’s Association, Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

Ms Fu said the MSO office had been set up and would make use of smart technology to make it more convenient for Singaporeans to provide feedback on municipal issues.

The smartphone app, first announced last month, will allow people to take photos, tag their locations and send them directly to the office. “The MSO will also have precise information on the issues at hand, thus allowing agencies to act quickly,” Ms Fu said.

Having visited the SPF and LTA, she will visit the remaining participating agencies over the coming months. “My recent visits to the SPF and LTA (regarding) their feedback management have given me a better understanding of their operations,” she added.

Municipal Services Office ready to help
Tham Yuen-c My Paper AsiaOne 3 Oct 14;

The much-anticipated one-stop office to handle municipal matters that involve multiple government agencies has been officially opened, with more details on two initiatives it announced last month.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu, who heads the Municipal Services Office (MSO), yesterday said it would use "smart technologies" to make it more convenient for Singaporeans to provide feedback on municipal issues.

In a Facebook update, she revealed that a smartphone application which the office said it is developing will be ready by the start of next year.

With the application, people will be able to snap photos of trouble spots, tag on location information and send them directly to the MSO, so it can respond to complaints quickly, she said.

The MSO is also developing an "integrated system" that will help different agencies share and monitor complaints on municipal matters, so they can work together to resolve the cases, revealed Ms Fu.

For a start, it will work with eight agencies: the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, national water agency PUB, National Parks Board, Housing Board, Land Transport Authority (LTA), the Singapore Police Force (SPF), People's Association and the National Environment Agency.

The MSO's establishment was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the National Day Rally in August. The office serves to ensure that public agencies improve their coordination when providing services that involve more than one of them.

It will come under the Ministry of National Development.

Ms Fu, who recently visited the SPF and LTA to find out more about how the agencies handle feedback on municipal issues, said she would be visiting the six other agencies in the next few months.

She wrote in the Facebook post: "The MSO has been set up! Visited my team at the new Municipal Services Office earlier this morning. Happy to meet the officers, all enthusiastic and passionate about the mission of MSO."

The MSO has a website at, which lists the hotline numbers of the various agencies categorised by the matters they handle, such as public cleanliness, mosquito breeding and transport infrastructure, among other things.

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Malaysia: 200 new haze hotspots in Kalimantan

rahimy rahim The Star 3 Oct 14;

PETALING JAYA: A drastic increase of almost 200 hotspots were detected in Kalimantan, Indonesia, within a span of 24 hours, says Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel.

He said 170 hotspots were detected on Sept 30, but had jumped to 367 on Wednesday.

He added that the hotspots were detected by the Singapore-based Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre via the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“In the same period, 76 hotspots were found in Sumatra although cloud cover may have hampered detection of the actual number of hotspots,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He said the hotspots had resulted in the haze which was detected in the affected areas in Kalimantan.

It was reported that Malaysia and Indonesia are drafting a memorandum of understanding to tackle trans-boundary haze.

The Government had also written to Indonesia to express concerns over the increase in hotspots in south Sumatra and Kalimantan that had led to the haze over peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak.

Palanivel also noted that the Department of Environment (DOE) had detected two hospots in Sarawak and one in Pahang.

“All the hotspots detected will be investigated and appropriate enforcement action taken,” he added.

He said the hot and dry weather, coupled with cross-border haze, is likely to persist until mid-October due to the south-west monsoon season.

However, most areas in the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak are expected to enjoy normal weather conditions throughout the month, he added.

Palanivel said the DOE also recorded 4,751 cases of open burning throughout the country.

From the total, 1,475 cases involved fires in agricultural areas, small open burning (1,054); bush fires (1,033); construction areas (162); forest areas (907); dump sites (86) and industrial areas (34).

As of 7am yesterday, 17 areas recorded healthy Air Pollutant Index (API) readings, while 34 other areas recorded moderate air quality readings.

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