A resident at Block 729 Woodlands Circle became seriously worried about the HDB building when he noticed that paper was used construction material for the lift at a renovation works. According to the photo evidence, paper was stuffed to fill the gap between the metal frame of the door and the wall at both the 10th and 11th floor.
When queried by the media, the government’s housing authority HDB passed the blame to the first housing builder contractor for the third world construction practice. HDB refused to take responsibility and even downplayed the incident saying that the building remains “structurally safe”:
“It was likely that when the building was first built, the contractor had intended to fill a small gap caused by localised misalignment between the beam and lift door jamb to facilitate tiling work. Although it does not affect the structure of the building or the operation of the lift, the method used by the building contractor is not an acceptable industry practice.”
The practice of using paper as construction material is common in China and India, where contractors save on cement and wall fillers.
This is the second construction incident involving HDB in the recent year. Just last Saturday (Oct 20), the Chinese papers Lian He Wan Bao reported that a resident found cardboard, broken tiles and wires used as wall filler in her HDB-leased apartment at Tampines. The apartment was undergoing redevelopment works under the Home Improvement Programme when the shoddy construction work was discovered. Then in August, a resident found that newspapers were found in the sidewalls of his apartment’s balcony when his contractor were doing renovation works.
Singapore’s Ministry of National Development Lawrence Wong has refused to address the shoddy construction work found in HDB housing. The HDB has also refused to accept any responsibility to any incident, and paid lips service saying that investigation is ongoing.