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Wednesday, 20 September, 2000, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Singapore cracks down on 'killer litter'
Singapore city skyline
Singapore: Renowned for its obsession with tidyness
Singaporeans who chuck rubbish out of their windows now face being evicted from their apartments under tough new "killer litter" laws.

Public housing authorities in the squeaky clean city are currently preparing to evict five such offenders from their high-rise apartments.

Singapore skyscrapers
High-rise blocks dominate the city's skyline
Local media and government officials invented the term "killer litter" after a five-year-old girl was killed by a flower pot that plummeted from a balcony in April.

In one recent case, one woman even chucked a microwave oven out of a high-rise apartment building.

Nearly 90% of Singapore's 3.2 million people live in public-housing tower blocks on the island, which is famed for its obsession with cleanliness and rules against chewing gum.

Housing spokeswoman Sum Foong Yee said the families of offenders would also be ejected.

"The entire household will have to move out," she told Associated Press news agency. "We have to let the public know this is serious."

'Recalcitrant offenders'

One person about to lose her home is 47-year-old widow Wong Sook Ying, a repeat offender who was sentenced to three months' jail in July for throwing two flower pots and two pieces of tile out of her high-rise apartment.

A statement from Singapore's housing authority said "very serious or recalcitrant" offenders like Ms Wong would lose their apartments immediately and could not occupy public housing for the next five years.

Other offenders, including the woman who chucked out a microwave and a 65-year-old man who threw beer bottles out of his window after a drinking binge, will be given six months to move.

They will be banned for three years from public housing flats, except on the lowest floor of the building.

Reports said another man has been warned he could lose his flat after throwing out the spiny shell from a giant durian fruit.

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