Environmental Public Health (Amendment) Bill

Bill No. 34/1970

Read the first time on 22nd July 1970.
An Act to amend the Environmental Public Health Act, 1968 (No. 32 of 1968).
Be it enacted by the President with the advice and consent of the Parliament of Singapore, as follows: —
Short title and commencement
1.—(1)  This Act may be cited as the Environmental Public Health (Amendment) Act, 1970, and shall come into operation on such date as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint.
(2)  The Minister may appoint different dates for the coming into operation of the different provisions of this Act.
Amendment of section 2
2.  Section 2 of the Environmental Public Health Act, 1968 (hereinafter in this Act referred to as “the principal Act”) is hereby amended —
(a)by inserting immediately after the definition of “Commissioner” appearing therein the following new definition: —
“ “Director” means the Director of Public Works appointed under section 13 of the Local Government Integration Ordinance, 1963 (Ord. 18 of 1963), and includes a Deputy Director of Public Works and an Assistant Director of Public Works appointed under the said section;”; and
(b)by inserting immediately after the expression “road,” appearing in the first line of the definition of “street” therein the expression “fly-over,”.
Amendment of section 22
3.  Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section 22 of the principal Act is hereby amended by inserting immediately after the word “Commissioner” appearing in the third line thereof the expression “or except as required by the Commissioner under section 22A of this Act”.
New section 22A
4.  The principal Act is hereby amended by inserting immediately after section 22 thereof the following new section: —
Commissioner may require developer to provide certain services
22A.—(1)  The Commissioner may, in his discretion, by notice in writing require the developer of any premises or group of premises —
(a)to cause, at the expense of such developer, such portion of the street as fronts, adjoins or abuts on such premises or group of premises to be properly swept, cleansed and watered, and the dust, dirt, building debris, garbage, refuse, rubbish or other matter or thing found thereon to be collected and removed for such period or periods and subject to such conditions and requirements as may be specified in such notice; or
(b)to provide, at the expense of such developer, a night-soil removal service for such period or periods and subject to such conditions and requirements as may be specified in such notice.
(2)  Any developer who refuses, neglects or fails to comply with any notice issued by the Commissioner under the provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars.
(3)  Where any developer who has been served with a notice under subsection (1) of this section fails to comply therewith, the Commissioner may, in his discretion, without prejudice to any proceedings under subsection (2) of this section and whether before or after the commencement or conclusion of such proceedings, or without instituting such proceedings, carry out all or any of the requirements set out in such notice and recover from such developer the costs and expenses thereof in the manner provided in section 119 of this Act.”.
New section 24A
5.  The principal Act is hereby amended by inserting immediately after section 24 thereof the following new section: —
Prohibition on use of night-soil for manuring earth in pots, etc
24A.  Any person who uses night-soil or human excreta for the purpose of manuring any earth, soil or other substance contained in any pot, box, container or other receptacle shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars.”.
Amendment of section 26
6.  Section 26 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by inserting immediately after the word “ Places” appearing in the cross-heading above section 26 thereof the expression “ and Pollution of Reservoirs, etc”;
(b)by inserting immediately after subsection (1) thereof the following new subsections: —
(1A)  Any person who deposits any refuse, rubbish, filth, garbage or any other matter or thing in any stream, river, drain, channel or watercourse or upon the bank of any of the same or in any part of the sea abutting on the foreshore, shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and may be arrested without warrant by any police officer or by any public officer authorised in writing in that behalf by the Commissioner and taken before a Magistrate’s Court and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, and in the case of a second or subsequent conviction to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars.
(1B)  Any person who, in any part of a reservoir or lake used for the storage and supply of water for public consumption or in any part of a stream, river or canal draining into such reservoir or lake —
(a)causes or suffers any animal to enter into any such reservoir, lake, stream, river or canal;
(b)washes or causes to be washed any animal or anything in or near such reservoir, lake, stream, river or canal;
(c)throws or puts any matter or thing into any such reservoir, lake, stream, river or canal;
(d)bathes in or near such reservoir, lake, stream, river or canal; or
(e)does any act whereby water in such reservoir, lake, stream, river or canal is in any way fouled or its quality altered,
shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and may be arrested without warrant by any police officer or by any public officer authorised in writing in that behalf by the Commissioner and taken before a Magistrate’s Court and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, and in the case of a second or subsequent conviction to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars.”;
(c)by inserting immediately after subsection (10) thereof the following new subsection: —
(11)  The provisions of subsections (1), (1A), (1B), (2) and (4) to (7) of this section shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to any person who contravenes any regulations made under this Act in respect of public cleansing.”; and
(d)by inserting immediately after the expression “subsection (1)” appearing in subsections (2), (5), (7) and (8) thereof the expression “, (1A) or (1B)”.
Amendment of section 28
7.  Section 28 of the principal Act is hereby amended by deleting the words “and includes a supermarket” appearing in the definition of “private market” therein.
Amendment of section 38
8.  Section 38 of the principal Act is hereby amended by deleting subsection (2) thereof and substituting therefor the following new subsections: —
(2)  Any person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and may be arrested without warrant by any police officer or by any public officer authorised in writing in that behalf by the Commissioner and taken before a Magistrate’s Court and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, and in the case of a second or subsequent conviction to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars.
(3)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) of this section or of any other written law, any police officer or any public officer, who having effected an arrest in accordance with the provisions of this section, is satisfied as to the identity, name and place of residence of the person arrested, may, in his discretion, instead of taking such person before a Court or to a police station serve upon such person a notice requiring such person to attend at the Court described at the hour and on the date specified in such notice. The said notice shall be in such form as may be prescribed under section 142 of this Act.
(4)  For the purpose of satisfying himself as to the identity of the person arrested, such police officer or public officer may require the person arrested to furnish such evidence of identity as he may deem necessary.
(5)  A duplicate copy of the notice referred to in subsection (3) of this section shall be prepared by the police officer or public officer, as the case may be, and by him, if so required by a Court, produced to such Court.
(6)  On an accused person appearing before a Court in pursuance of such a notice, the Court shall take cognizance of the offence alleged and shall proceed as though he were produced before it in pursuance of subsection (2) of this section.
(7)  If a person upon whom such a notice has been served as aforesaid fails to appear before a Court in accordance therewith, the Court shall thereupon issue a warrant for the arrest of such person.
(8)  Upon a person arrested in pursuance of a warrant issued under subsection (7) of this section being produced before it, a Court shall proceed as though he were produced before it in pursuance of subsection (2) of this section and shall at the conclusion of such proceedings call upon him to show cause why he should not be punished for failing to attend in compliance with the notice served upon him and if cause be not shown may order him to pay such penalty not exceeding two thousand dollars as the Court thinks fit or may commit him to prison for a term not exceeding two months.
(9)  Any stall, table, showboard, vehicle or receptacle together with any appliances and utensils relating thereto and the food, drink or goods intended or exposed for sale, whether they appear to be abandoned or not, belonging or appearing to belong to or in possession of a person appearing to be committing or to have committed an offence under subsection (2) of this section may be seized by any police officer or public officer authorised as aforesaid and removed to and detained at any police station or Government depôt or such other place as may be approved by the Commissioner, at the risk of the owner, to abide the directions of a Magistrate’s Court:
Provided that any perishable articles likely to decay so seized and removed may be disposed of forthwith:
And provided also that if any abandoned articles so seized and detained, other than perishable articles already disposed of, are claimed within forty-eight hours after such seizure by the owner thereof, being a person licensed or otherwise lawfully entitled to set up or sell such articles at the place at which the same were seized, such abandoned articles shall be returned to such owner.
(10)  Every such seizure shall, except when the articles seized have been returned to the owner, be reported to a Magistrate’s Court.
(11)  The Magistrate’s Court shall, on convicting any person of an offence under subsection (2) of this section or on receiving a report in respect of any abandoned articles which were apparently being used in connection with the sale of food, drink or goods, order the property seized under subsection (9) of this section to be forfeited and to be disposed of in such manner as the Court deems fit:
Provided that if the Court directs the sale of such articles, the proceeds thereof shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund.
(12)  The Magistrate’s Court may, on convicting a person of an offence under subsection (2) of this section or on receiving a report in respect of any abandoned articles which were not apparently being used in connection with the sale of food, drink or goods, order the property seized under subsection (9) of this section to be forfeited and to be disposed of in such manner as the Court deems fit:
Provided that if the Court directs the sale of such articles, the proceeds or such part thereof as the Court thinks fit shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund and the balance, if any, paid to the owner.
(13)  The Magistrate’s Court may, on convicting any person under subsection (2) of this section, order his photograph to be taken by a police photographer or other photographer. Any such photograph may be preserved and may be produced to any Court for the purpose of establishing identity on a subsequent conviction.”.
Amendment of section 43
9.  Section 43 of the principal Act is hereby amended by inserting immediately after the word “sections” appearing in the first line thereof the expression “38,”.
Amendment of section 50
10.  Section 50 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by inserting immediately after the expression “river,” appearing in the third line of paragraph (a) of subsection (2) thereof the expression “drain,”;
(b)by inserting the word “or” at the end of paragraph (a) of subsection (2) thereof;
(c)by inserting immediately after the expression “river,” appearing in the third line of paragraph (b) of subsection (2) thereof the expression “drain,”;
(d)by deleting the expression “; or” appearing at the end of paragraph (b) of subsection (2) thereof and substituting therefor a comma;
(e)by deleting paragraph (c) of subsection (2) thereof;
(f)by inserting the word “or” at the end of paragraph (c) of subsection (3) thereof;
(g)by deleting paragraphs (d), (e), (f) and (g) of subsection (3) thereof; and
(h)by re-lettering paragraph (h) of subsection (3) thereof as paragraph (d).
Repeal and re-enactment of section 56
11.  Section 56 of the principal Act is hereby repealed and the following substituted therefor: —
Power to direct owners or occupiers, inter alia, to cleanse, paint, lime-wash and colour-wash buildings
56.—(1)  Where the Commissioner, the Director, a Medical Officer of Health or a Public Health Engineer is of the opinion that any house or building or any part thereof is in an unclean, grimy, neglected, unkempt or insanitary condition, he may by an order in writing direct the owner or the occupier or tenant thereof to take all or any of the following measures at the expense of such owner, occupier or tenant within a time and date to be specified in such order: —
(a)remove all refuse, rubbish or garbage within such house, building or part thereof, or in the immediate vicinity of such house or building, to such place, or otherwise dispose of the same at such place, as may be specified in such order;
(b)cleanse such house, building or part thereof, internally or externally, or both internally and externally, and if necessary disinfect the same;
(c)paint, lime-wash or colour-wash such house or building or part thereof, internally or externally, or both internally and externally; and
(d)carry out such minor repairs and renovations as are necessary or incidental to any work required to be performed under paragraph (c) of this subsection.
(2)  Any owner, occupier or tenant who fails or neglects to comply with all or any of the requirements of such order within the time and the date specified therein shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars and to a further fine not exceeding fifty dollars for every day during which such non-compliance continues.
(3)  Without prejudice to any proceedings under subsection (2) of this section and whether before or after the commencement or conclusion of such proceedings, or without instituting such proceedings, the Commissioner, the Director, a Medical Officer of Health, a Public Health Engineer, or any person authorised in that behalf by any of them, or a public health auxiliary, may enter into the house, building or any part thereof which is the subject matter of such order and take or cause to be taken such measures as have been specified in such order, and the costs and expenses thereby incurred shall be paid by the person in default and may be recovered in the manner provided under section 119 or section 122 of this Act.
(4)  The Commissioner, the Director, any Medical Officer of Health or Public Health Engineer or any person authorised in that behalf by any of them, or any owner who has been served with an order under subsection (1) of this section or any person authorised in that behalf by such owner, may for the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, enter between the hours of six o’clock in the morning and six o’clock in the evening into and upon any house or building to make any survey or inspection or to execute any work required by such order or authorised by the said subsection; and the occupier or tenant thereof shall, for this purpose, render such assistance as may be necessary (including the shifting of movable objects within the house or building) to enable the survey, inspection or execution of such work to be proceeded with and completed as expeditiously as possible.
(5)  No person shall, except with the consent of the occupier or tenant, enter any house or building by virtue of the powers conferred by this section, without at least six hours’ previous notice being given to the occupier or tenant.
(6)  (a)  Where any order made under the provisions of subsection (1) of this section contains any direction for the painting, lime-washing or colour-washing of the external part of any building which consists of three or more storeys including the ground floor, and the owners, occupiers or tenants thereof are unable to agree on a colour scheme for the painting, lime-washing or colour-washing of the external part of such building, the Commissioner, the Director or any officer authorised in that behalf by either of them may, in his discretion, after ascertaining the wishes of the majority of such owners, occupiers or tenants or otherwise, as he may deem fit, determine such colour scheme and direct all such owners, occupiers or tenants to adopt such colour scheme.

(b)Where any painting, lime-washing or colour-washing of the external part of any such building is carried out under the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, the Commissioner, the Director or any officer authorised in that behalf by either of them, may, in his discretion, after ascertaining the wishes of the majority of the owners, occupiers or tenants concerned or otherwise, as he may deem fit, determine such colour scheme.

Costs and expenses of work executed within controlled premises recoverable by owner
56A.—(1)  Notwithstanding the provisions of any written law, where any controlled premises are the subject of an order under subsection (1) of section 56 of this Act, such proportion of the costs and expenses incurred by an owner in complying with such order as relates to any work executed only within the interior of the house or building may be recovered by the owner from the tenant thereof in equal instalments over a period of twenty-four months; and in the event of a change of tenancy, any outstanding balance due to the owner may be recovered by him from any subsequent tenant or tenants in equal instalments of the same amount.
(2)  Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall be construed as precluding any owner and tenant from agreeing upon a mutually acceptable arrangement for the payment of any amount due under that subsection.
(3)  The amount of costs and expenses payable under subsection (1) of this section and, if necessary, the apportionment of the same, and any question of liability shall, in the case of any dispute between the owner and the tenant, be summarily ascertained and determined by a Magistrate’s Court or, if the amount exceeds two thousands dollars, by a District Court; and where any such amount which a party is liable to pay has been determined by a Magistrate’s Court or a District Court, it may be recovered as if it were a fine imposed by such Magistrate’s Court or District Court.
(4)  Where there is neglect, failure or refusal to pay the amount of the costs and expenses that a party is liable to pay under subsection (1) of this section, and the matter is not the subject of a dispute to which subsection (3) of this section applies, such amount may be recovered in the same manner as if it were a fine imposed by a Magistrate’s Court.
(5)  An appeal shall lie to the High Court from any decision of a Magistrate’s Court or District Court under this section, and the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cap. 132) shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to all such appeals.
(6)  For the purposes of this section —
“controlled premises” means any house or building that is subject to control pursuant to the provisions of the Control (Cap. 242) of Rent Ordinance;
“tenant” means the tenant of controlled premises in respect of which a tenancy exists and includes a statutory tenant within the meaning of Part IV of the Control of Rent Ordinance and in the case of a sub-tenancy a sub-tenant to whom the controlled premises are, or part thereof is, sublet.”.
Amendment of section 57
12.  Section 57 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by inserting immediately after subsection (1) thereof the following new subsections: —
(1A)  If, in any premises, wasps, bees, hornets or other insects capable of stinging exist and a Medical Officer of Health or a Public Health Engineer is of the opinion that there is a probability, risk or danger that the persons in such premises or in the vicinity thereof may be stung by them, or if any such persons have been stung by them, he may serve a notice in writing on the owner or the occupier of such premises, calling upon him to take such measures, at the expense of such owner or occupier, as the Medical Officer of Health or a Public Health Engineer considers necessary, within such time and date as may be specified in such notice, for the destruction of such insects, for the removal of their breeding places and for preventing their re-appearance.
(1B)  Where such insects exist in any vacant premises and the owner cannot by the exercise of reasonable diligence be found, and a Medical Officer of Health or a Public Health Engineer is of the opinion that persons in the vicinity of such premises are in imminent danger of being stung by insects, or if any such persons have been stung by them, he may, upon the written consent of the Commissioner being first obtained, enter upon such premises and take such measures as he considers necessary for the destruction of such insects, for the removal of their breeding places and for preventing their re-appearance, and the costs and expenses thereby incurred shall be borne by the Government.”; and
(b)by deleting the words “such notice” appearing in the second line of subsection (2) thereof and substituting therefor the expression “any notice served under subsection (1) or (1A) of this section”.
Amendment of section 67
13.  Section 67 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by deleting the expression “—(1)” appearing in the first line of subsection (1) thereof; and
(b)by deleting subsection (2) thereof.
New section 73A
14.  The principal Act is hereby amended by inserting immediately after section 73 thereof the following new section: —
Inadequate bathroom facilities
73A.  If it appears to the Commissioner that any building or part thereof is without any bathroom or without adequate facilities for bathing, he may, by notice in writing to the owner of the building or of the part thereof, require him to provide the building or the part thereof with one or more bathrooms or with such facilities for bathing as the Commissioner may consider adequate.”.
Amendment of section 74
15.  Section 74 of the principal Act is hereby amended by inserting immediately after subsection (3) thereof the following new subsection: —
(4)  Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the Commissioner from carrying out any works specified in any such notice at the request of a person who has been served with such notice upon an undertaking by such person to pay the costs and expenses incurred in executing such works.”.
Amendment of section 75
16.  Section 75 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by renumbering the existing section as subsection (1); and
(b)by inserting immediately after subsection (1) thereof the following new subsection: —
(2)  For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, a public drain shall include a drain common to, or serving more than, one house or building.”.
Amendment of section 76
17.  Section 76 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by deleting the words “may require the owner or owners of any land or the owners of adjoining lands” appearing in the first and second lines thereof and substituting therefor the expression “or a Public Health Engineer may, by notice in writing, require the owner or owners of any land or the owners of adjoining lands, at the expense of such owner or owners”;
(b)by renumbering the existing section as subsection (1); and
(c)by inserting immediately after subsection (1) thereof the following new subsection: —
(2)  For the purpose of ensuring a free flow of water, the Commissioner may cause one or more drains to be constructed through, across or under any land or lands whatsoever after giving notice in writing in that behalf to the owner or owners hereof, doing as little damage as may be and making full compensation for any damage done; and if any dispute shall arise concerning the amount or apportionment of compensation, the same shall be settled in the manner provided in section 119 of this Act.”.
Amendment of section 80
18.  Section 80 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by deleting the expression “—(1)” appearing in the first line of subsection (1) thereof; and
(b)by deleting subsection (2) thereof.
New section 85A
19.  The principal Act is hereby amended by inserting immediately after section 85 thereof the following new section: —
Power to enter into and search premises used for offensive trades
85A.  The Commissioner, any Medical Officer of Health or any public health auxiliary may, at any time, enter into and inspect and search any premises which are used, or which he has reasonable grounds for believing to be used, for any of the purposes set out in the Second Schedule to this Act.”.
Amendment of section 110
20.  Subsection (1) of section 110 of the principal Act is hereby amended by inserting immediately after the word “Commissioner” appearing in the third line and in the seventh line thereof the expression “, the Director”.
Amendment of section 111
21.  Section 111 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by inserting immediately after the expression “Commissioner,” appearing in the second line thereof the expression “the Director,”; and
(b)by deleting the words “or required to do by virtue or in consequence of” appearing in the sixth line thereof and substituting therefor the expression “, employed or required to do by virtue or in consequence of or under”.
Amendment of section 122
22.  Subsection (6) of section 122 of the principal Act is hereby amended by deleting the words “may be recovered as hereinafter provided” appearing in the fourth and fifth lines thereof and substituting therefor the expression “the provisions of sections 159 to 166 of the Local Government Integration Ordinance, 1963 (Ord. 18 of 1963), shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to its recovery by the Commissioner”.