Oral Reply to Parliamentary Question on refusal of entry to dengue inspection officers by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and the Environment
Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) how many cases of refusal of entry to the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) dengue inspection officers have been reported in the past three years; and (b) whether the Ministry has any plans to increase the penalties for individuals who refuse entry to NEA’s dengue inspection officers for inspection under the Control of Vectors and Pesticides Act.
1 Most residents allow the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) officers to inspect their premises after the officers explain the need to conduct checks for mosquito breeding and stem dengue transmission. In the past three years, NEA has encountered about 6 instances of refused entry for every 100 inspection attempts at residential premises. In such instances, NEA would offer to reschedule the inspection to another time. Eventually, most of them will comply and facilitate our inspections.
2 Under the Control of Vectors and Pesticides Act 1998 (CVPA), notices to require residents to make their premises available for inspection may be served to those who repeatedly refuse entry to NEA inspection officers. Individuals who fail to comply with the notice can be charged under Section 45 of the CVPA for obstructing or hindering NEA officers from performing their duties. Offenders are liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or to both. We have not had the need to charge anyone under Section 45 for repeated refusal to entry in the past three years and we do not have any plans to increase the penalties at this time.
3 In light of the increasing number of dengue cases, I urge all individuals and premises managers to take urgent action to break the disease transmission by adopting good housekeeping habits to prevent mosquito breeding.