The dispute between Mr Daniel See and his neighbours, Mdm Iwa and Mr Low Bok Siong, began in November 2017. The couple lived directly below Mr See’s flat in Pending Road and, according to Mr See, harassed him incessantly with hammering sounds and loud music. A video recording of one such instance can be watched here.
Mr See sought help from the various public authorities but to no avail. Finally, after two years and multiple trips to court, he succeeded in barring his neighbours from returning to their home for a month. This is the first time the newly established Community Dispute Resolution Tribunal has issued such an Exclusion Order.
In granting the Exclusion Order, the Tribunal found that the neighbours had breached an earlier court order to stop interfering with Mr See’s enjoyment of his residence with loud noises. The Tribunal also took into account the lengths the neighbours would go just to disturb Mr See. For example, according to the Straits Times, the Tribunal heard that the family would cram into one master bedroom to sleep with towels wrapped around their heads just so they could play loud music in the bedroom directly below Mr See.
When approached by TODAY Online, Johannes Hadi said that exclusion orders are made as a last resort and only where its imposition is ‘just and equitable’. Mr Hadi also said that although we do not yet have the benefit of case law to illuminate the ‘just and equitable’ standard in this context, it appears that the tribunal would have to consider the potential impact of an exclusion order on the offender’s household and anyone else who may be affected.