In Singapore, you're being watched even though you're at home. A man was caught on the National Environment Agency's (NEA) surveillance cameras for throwing a lit cigarette bud from his HDB window. Upon investigating the footage, NEA found the owner of the house and sent him a notice for high-rise littering. This is apparently an offence under the Environmental Public Health Act.
Enraged, the man complained on Facebook and threatened to litter more: "CCB NEA now camera people window is it, i will fucking litter everywhere i go now". He removed his post after it went viral with more than 1500 shares.
Now that NEA knows about his defiant attitude, it won't be a surprise if he is slapped with more charges or be kept on a closer watch in case he litters again.
Although funny at first glance, the issue begs a bigger question of whether Singaporeans have any privacy left. Last year, the NEA started installing surveillance cameras to catch similar offences at HDB estates. Recently, they also announced plans to control smoking within residential areas. Why is the Government micromanaging its people? Why are they looking at places they should not be prying into? Where is the privacy that Singaporeans are entitled to? How wary should we be from now on?
They may have authority but they should not interfere in citizens' private affairs.
For now, just be careful even though you're at home. Big Brother is watching.