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"Nosey" Neighbors - More than the usual inquisitiveness !

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bak_kwa
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"Nosey" Neighbors - More than the usual inquisitiveness !

Post by bak_kwa » Sat, 10 Apr 2021 9:54 pm

Hi friends,

I live in the central part of Singapore in an HDB estate with my family. I have a suspicion that two of my neighbors have been spying and monitoring me and my family for the past few months or perhaps more (I noticed it only for the past few months although this may have been going on even before I started to notice it).

I noticed the following which has raised my suspicion :
  • A “bird like” sound made from the neighbor’s unit the moment I move from one part of my house to another, and it is made with almost perfect timing (he has a pet bird also but sometimes the tone and type of the bird-like voices are different depending upon whether the bird is making the noise or otherwise. Sometimes I have noticed a Black Javan Mynah bird flying past by and perch on the potted plants kept by one of the "eavesdropping" neighbor who is directly above us and sometimes the bird like noise is heard but no bird is seen)
  • The neighbor appears to know when and at what time I come in and go out of the house with almost perfect timing. This is indicated by his presence either at his door or waiting outside the moment I step outside the house
  • My phones have more than the usual number of spurious calls. One number with an “unknown” number keeps ringing at regular intervals. On the top of that I get calls from numbers which upon lifting are no longer in service. Also, recently a spurious SMS got delivered to my phone and after that my phone started behaving strangely
I very well understand that it’s quite normal for neighbors watching over what’s happening in my house, now and then, in a typical HDB setting where the flats are quite adjacent to each other. However, this situation to me is more than the normal neighbourly interest in my affairs.

This has disturbed my family's peace and me and my wife are debating whether we should first gather evidence and also report to the police using the assistance of a Private Investigator (who is registered with the Singapore Police and who would do both but for a fee) or directly approach the Police and report to them on our own with the hope that the Police would do the work regarding gathering evidence (although we may or may not be able to gather the kind of evidence that usually a Private Investigator does).

This particular situation is unprecedented for me and my family since we never faced such problems and always had good neighbors till now when we moved in to this HDB estate 2 years ago. Hence we are looking for some good advice in this matter on how to get this matter resolved.

Thanking you in anticipation,

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Re: "Nosey" Neighbors - More than the usual inquisitiveness !

Post by singaporeflyer » Sat, 10 Apr 2021 10:07 pm

bak_kwa wrote:
Sat, 10 Apr 2021 9:54 pm
Hi friends,

I live in the central part of Singapore in an HDB estate with my family. I have a suspicion that two of my neighbors have been spying and monitoring me and my family for the past few months or perhaps more (I noticed it only for the past few months although this may have been going on even before I started to notice it).

I noticed the following which has raised my suspicion :
  • A “bird like” sound made from the neighbor’s unit the moment I move from one part of my house to another, and it is made with almost perfect timing (he has a pet bird also but sometimes the tone and type of the bird-like voices are different depending upon whether the bird is making the noise or otherwise. Sometimes I have noticed a Black Javan Mynah bird flying past by and perch on the potted plants kept by one of the "eavesdropping" neighbor who is directly above us and sometimes the bird like noise is heard but no bird is seen)
  • The neighbor appears to know when and at what time I come in and go out of the house with almost perfect timing. This is indicated by his presence either at his door or waiting outside the moment I step outside the house
  • My phones have more than the usual number of spurious calls. One number with an “unknown” number keeps ringing at regular intervals. On the top of that I get calls from numbers which upon lifting are no longer in service. Also, recently a spurious SMS got delivered to my phone and after that my phone started behaving strangely
I very well understand that it’s quite normal for neighbors watching over what’s happening in my house, now and then, in a typical HDB setting where the flats are quite adjacent to each other. However, this situation to me is more than the normal neighbourly interest in my affairs.

This has disturbed my family's peace and me and my wife are debating whether we should first gather evidence and also report to the police using the assistance of a Private Investigator (who is registered with the Singapore Police and who would do both but for a fee) or directly approach the Police and report to them on our own with the hope that the Police would do the work regarding gathering evidence (although we may or may not be able to gather the kind of evidence that usually a Private Investigator does).

This particular situation is unprecedented for me and my family since we never faced such problems and always had good neighbors till now when we moved in to this HDB estate 2 years ago. Hence we are looking for some good advice in this matter on how to get this matter resolved.

Thanking you in anticipation,
All of us get these unknown calls, spam SMS/whatsapp, etc

At a high level looks like you have interlinked many incidents that occur during a short interval of time.

Keep watching, but at the moment i feel you dont need to make a report yet.

None has done anything to harm you etc.

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Re: "Nosey" Neighbors - More than the usual inquisitiveness !

Post by MOCHS » Sat, 10 Apr 2021 11:39 pm

bak_kwa wrote:
Sat, 10 Apr 2021 9:54 pm
  • The neighbor appears to know when and at what time I come in and go out of the house with almost perfect timing. This is indicated by his presence either at his door or waiting outside the moment I step outside the house
  • My phones have more than the usual number of spurious calls. One number with an “unknown” number keeps ringing at regular intervals. On the top of that I get calls from numbers which upon lifting are no longer in service. Also, recently a spurious SMS got delivered to my phone and after that my phone started behaving strangely
It’s not spying, it’s just that HDB units are so close to each other that the jangly house keys and unlocking of the gate and door gets pretty loud. I don’t spy on my neighbour but when I’m inside my house, I have ears that can hear them opening their doors and their shuffling footsteps along the corridor.

The unique thing about HDB dwelling, especially the ones over 30 years old is that over time you will inadvertently know your neighbour’s schedule. I know what time my neighbour brings out the laundry and brings it back in ‘cos I can hear their laundry pole rattling when they take it outside. I know what time the neighbour goes to the market and comes back ‘cos they shuffle their feet loudly with squeaky trolley wheels when they walk down the corridor. I know my neighbour has returned from a jog ‘cos she beats the dust off her running shoes before entering the house. I am certainly not spying on them, I’m just hearing what is going on outside the house and I can infer what’s happening.

Maybe your neighbour being outside their house is just pure coincidence. You did not mention what they do when they’re outside their house though. Do they smile and say hi? Maybe they just want to chat and know you better?

Put yourself on the Do Not Call (DNC) registry and the spam calls/sms will lessen.

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Re: "Nosey" Neighbors - More than the usual inquisitiveness !

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 10 Apr 2021 11:54 pm

Just some words that will keep you from making a fool of yourself, HDB living takes a hell of a lot of getting use to. I lived formerly on a 200 acre waterfront farm. I loved the solitude, however, in order to make a living and I ended up over here and actually lived in Seletar Air Base for the first 15 years (countryside with a large compound and grass, trees, flowers, bugs, snakes, lizards, etc., I loved it. Then I bought an HDB flat 22 years ago. My solitude disappeared permanently, have constant noises almost 24/7. I feel like I'm incarcerated what with all the bars on the windows & door. But, yes, you will have friction with at least one neighbour and maybe a lot more if you are not careful. Get the authorities involved? Good Luck. They will come to your house, very politely say they will watch the area and then go about their real work. The only time they will actually get involved is if blood is drawn. So, get your weapons of mass destruction ready as that is the only way they are going to help (and it will be the neighbours who get the help if you draw blood). Or, you can go buy landed property. Oh, that's right, unless you are a citizen you cannot buy landed property. You'll have to settle for a condo. Have a bottle of wine.

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Re: "Nosey" Neighbors - More than the usual inquisitiveness !

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 11 Apr 2021 12:03 am

MOCHS, I've been an RC member for over a dozen years and my estate is 33~34 years old. I almost know the movements of the entire estate. And I guarantee you everyone in the estate knows me due to my PA/RC affiliation. I was also the first Ang Mo in the estate! As it is an aging estate, lots of Aunties recognized me when I first moved in which helped in assimilating as their curiosity got the best of them so they had to ask me if I was so and so on certain Mandarin Drama Serials. I worked as a part time actor (not an an extra/movable props) for SBC/TCS/MediaCorp & MediaWorks from 1988 to 2006) as their token Ang Mo in Chinese Drama serials. :lol: \:D/

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Re: "Nosey" Neighbors - More than the usual inquisitiveness !

Post by Lisafuller » Sun, 11 Apr 2021 2:05 am

Agree with Singaporeflyer. Seems like the incidents may not be related, but rather you are the one who is making links. Keep watching, and if these incidents persist, then you can consider doing something about it.

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Re: "Nosey" Neighbors - More than the usual inquisitiveness !

Post by MOCHS » Sun, 11 Apr 2021 7:51 am

SMS, I was born outside the SBC era but I did enjoy 90s TCS and early 2000s MediaCorp Chinese serials! Unfortunately, my memory is hazy about whether there was any ang mo character in the shows I watched since I preferred period dramas that they collaborated with China/HK and it’s a pity they don’t do that anymore.

Did you cameo in any Ch 5 sitcoms/shows though?

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Re: "Nosey" Neighbors - More than the usual inquisitiveness !

Post by x9200 » Sun, 11 Apr 2021 9:12 am

bak_kwa wrote:
Sat, 10 Apr 2021 9:54 pm
Hi friends,

I live in the central part of Singapore in an HDB estate with my family. I have a suspicion that two of my neighbors have been spying and monitoring me and my family for the past few months or perhaps more (I noticed it only for the past few months although this may have been going on even before I started to notice it).

I noticed the following which has raised my suspicion :
  • A “bird like” sound made from the neighbor’s unit the moment I move from one part of my house to another, and it is made with almost perfect timing (he has a pet bird also but sometimes the tone and type of the bird-like voices are different depending upon whether the bird is making the noise or otherwise. Sometimes I have noticed a Black Javan Mynah bird flying past by and perch on the potted plants kept by one of the "eavesdropping" neighbor who is directly above us and sometimes the bird like noise is heard but no bird is seen)
  • The neighbor appears to know when and at what time I come in and go out of the house with almost perfect timing. This is indicated by his presence either at his door or waiting outside the moment I step outside the house
  • My phones have more than the usual number of spurious calls. One number with an “unknown” number keeps ringing at regular intervals. On the top of that I get calls from numbers which upon lifting are no longer in service. Also, recently a spurious SMS got delivered to my phone and after that my phone started behaving strangely
I very well understand that it’s quite normal for neighbors watching over what’s happening in my house, now and then, in a typical HDB setting where the flats are quite adjacent to each other. However, this situation to me is more than the normal neighbourly interest in my affairs.

This has disturbed my family's peace and me and my wife are debating whether we should first gather evidence and also report to the police using the assistance of a Private Investigator (who is registered with the Singapore Police and who would do both but for a fee) or directly approach the Police and report to them on our own with the hope that the Police would do the work regarding gathering evidence (although we may or may not be able to gather the kind of evidence that usually a Private Investigator does).

This particular situation is unprecedented for me and my family since we never faced such problems and always had good neighbors till now when we moved in to this HDB estate 2 years ago. Hence we are looking for some good advice in this matter on how to get this matter resolved.

Thanking you in anticipation,
I also think there is nothing really alarming in your neighbors behavior.
This bird like sounds, what sort of thing this could be?
Why would your neighbors go to such extent to (try to) install some spying software on your phone? Do you realize what it takes to install and use such software?

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Re: "Nosey" Neighbors - More than the usual inquisitiveness !

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 11 Apr 2021 12:37 pm

MOCHS wrote:
Sun, 11 Apr 2021 7:51 am
SMS, I was born outside the SBC era but I did enjoy 90s TCS and early 2000s MediaCorp Chinese serials! Unfortunately, my memory is hazy about whether there was any ang mo character in the shows I watched since I preferred period dramas that they collaborated with China/HK and it’s a pity they don’t do that anymore.

Did you cameo in any Ch 5 sitcoms/shows though?
Never appear on any English series at all. Chinese Serials of note were SBC with Zoe Tay in 'Pretty Faces' (her 1st leading role with SBC), later along both Zoe & Fann Wong after their feud as to who was the real queen of Caldecot Hill in a series called 'Golden Pillow'. I was also the first Ang Mo killed in a locally produced drama, (been killed 3x, twice in one series), I've been a priest 2x (wife says it's sacrilege to let a pagan like me do that). And in one series I was the captain of a Oil Tanker who got in a fight and was killed and did a 10m fall over the railing of a tanker out in the western anchorage. (I did the part, the stuntwork and the overdubbing in the studio. The scene was shot in one continuous take and was subsequently used in the advertising trailers for the series before it aired and also in the opening scene (it was a flashback scene that set the stage for the actual series). I've had a lot of fun with these and they served their purpose well with sight recognition in the heartlands. I used to be able to walk into any hawker centre and get recognized. The problem is that usually the scripts only have project titles and in Mandarin so I rarely got to know the actual English translation so rarely saw myself act unless the Facility Officer who called me for parts actually let me know. Sometimes I had a running part through a series other time only a scene or two in an episode. If one happened to air, the following morning I'd know it by the stares I got on the buses! :lol: :lol:

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Re: "Nosey" Neighbors - More than the usual inquisitiveness !

Post by Lisafuller » Sun, 11 Apr 2021 9:11 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Sun, 11 Apr 2021 12:37 pm
MOCHS wrote:
Sun, 11 Apr 2021 7:51 am
SMS, I was born outside the SBC era but I did enjoy 90s TCS and early 2000s MediaCorp Chinese serials! Unfortunately, my memory is hazy about whether there was any ang mo character in the shows I watched since I preferred period dramas that they collaborated with China/HK and it’s a pity they don’t do that anymore.

Did you cameo in any Ch 5 sitcoms/shows though?
Never appear on any English series at all. Chinese Serials of note were SBC with Zoe Tay in 'Pretty Faces' (her 1st leading role with SBC), later along both Zoe & Fann Wong after their feud as to who was the real queen of Caldecot Hill in a series called 'Golden Pillow'. I was also the first Ang Mo killed in a locally produced drama, (been killed 3x, twice in one series), I've been a priest 2x (wife says it's sacrilege to let a pagan like me do that). And in one series I was the captain of a Oil Tanker who got in a fight and was killed and did a 10m fall over the railing of a tanker out in the western anchorage. (I did the part, the stuntwork and the overdubbing in the studio. The scene was shot in one continuous take and was subsequently used in the advertising trailers for the series before it aired and also in the opening scene (it was a flashback scene that set the stage for the actual series). I've had a lot of fun with these and they served their purpose well with sight recognition in the heartlands. I used to be able to walk into any hawker centre and get recognized. The problem is that usually the scripts only have project titles and in Mandarin so I rarely got to know the actual English translation so rarely saw myself act unless the Facility Officer who called me for parts actually let me know. Sometimes I had a running part through a series other time only a scene or two in an episode. If one happened to air, the following morning I'd know it by the stares I got on the buses! :lol: :lol:
So interesting! How did you even get to audition? Did they just scout you on the street?

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Re: "Nosey" Neighbors - More than the usual inquisitiveness !

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 12 Apr 2021 12:10 am

I worked under the auspices of UNHCR from 1988 tot 1991 resettling Vietnamese Boat People in the refugee camps throughout S.E.Asia, but primarily in P. Galang (3rd Island over behind Batam & Bintan). A British colleague who i worked with had been doing it for a while and he had to go to a conference somewhere and wasn't available so he told them he would ask me if I was interested. I said why not. The rest is history. I've never worked through an agency, but was called directly by the Facility Officer at SBC/TCS/MediaCorp. The work I also did for MediaWorks were due to the fact that they were former personnel at SBC so some of them already knew me. It was a trip, especially some of the period dramas. I never really had an audition as the day I showed up was the shoot in a serial called "Silk & Satins" and it was the first role for a brand new starlet as well as she had just recently won the 1988 Talentine Contest. Her name went on to become synonymous with SBC. None other than Zoe Tay. We both started in 1988. Interesting times.

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Re: "Nosey" Neighbors - More than the usual inquisitiveness !

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 12 Apr 2021 12:11 am

And no, I have no intention of writing a book, before anybody else asks. :lol: :lol: :P

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Re: "Nosey" Neighbors - More than the usual inquisitiveness !

Post by malcontent » Mon, 12 Apr 2021 12:34 am

Back to the original subject, people here being “kaypoh” (nosey) is often a culture shock for many... especially those from the West where it’s more of a MYOB culture - privacy is far more respected, fewer prying eyes.

It took me many years to become completely immune to that. I even remember in the early years feeling a sense of relief when returning to the US, leaving behind that constant sense of being nosed in on and getting stared at.

As for this neighbor, it almost sounds more like you have a fan... someone that wants to be like you and do what you do when you do it. This doesn’t surprise me at all, and it is almost certainly harmless. Take it as a compliment, your neighbor probably thinks you’re something special. And if I’m right, it will probably fade with time as their feeling of being “star struck” wears off.

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Re: "Nosey" Neighbors - More than the usual inquisitiveness !

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 12 Apr 2021 12:40 am

Mal, when I bought my HDB 22 years ago, I was still working part time with MediaCorp. I hear you on the want to get close to this person who must be special being Ang Mo and working in the broadcasting system here. For me it was working exactly as it was designed to do. That's why I kept working in the film industry - It was an easy way to breach the heartlander wall that I know you experienced back in those days as well.

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Re: "Nosey" Neighbors - More than the usual inquisitiveness !

Post by malcontent » Mon, 12 Apr 2021 12:49 am

Yeah, back then it was still common to hear Hokkien spoken... I still recall during my first year in Singapore living in the heartland and I had done something nice for this auntie (can’t even recall what it was) but she sure belted out a “gam sia hor” to me!

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