Singapore is famed for being a clean city. We are known for our well paved roads, manicured public parks and spotlessly clean streets.
However, if we were to take a closer look, we will realise that Singapore is not truly clean. It is not difficult to spot errant cigarette butts hiding behind bushes, used tissues left behind on the tables at our hawker centres, or unwanted items placed next to a full trash bin.
So, are we a clean city? Or a cleaned one, like what our former Chairman, Mr Liak Teng Lit said?
With more than 59,000 cleaners, Singapore has a relatively higher cleaners-to-residents ratio in comparison to other cities of similar scale. This suggests that we may have become over reliant on cleaners to clean up after us.
We need to realise that this is not sustainable. The average age of our cleaning workforce is 60 years old. The cleaning industry is facing an uphill battle to attract younger Singaporeans to join the profession. We cannot always turn to importing unskilled workers because that is not a long-term solution to our cleanliness issue.
Now is the time for all of us to step up and do our part to keep Singapore clean. Simple acts like binning our trash, returning our trays when dining in at hawker centres, and keeping public toilets clean will go a long way to ensure that we remain a clean city.
Singapore is our home, it is the responsibility of all Singaporeans to keep Singapore, our home, clean.