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Rodents scurrying around garbage area a common sight at Kasturi Tiara

16/03/2009 The Star Story and photos by GEETHA KRISHNAN

IMAGINE walking out of your apartment block and having a large rat crawl up your leg in search of food.

This happened to Kasturi Tiara Apartments Phase 2 resident T. Muniamah, 51, who wanted to run some errands last year. Many other residents living in the three apartment blocks in Taman Kasturi, Balakong, Selangor, have experienced similar nasty encounters and are now living in fear of the rodents.

Kasturi Tiara Apartments Phase 2 Residents Welfare Association chairman Tan Chin Tuan said the rat menace was on the rise since they moved into the apratments three years ago and the rodent population was increasing rapidly.

Unsightly: Yap (second from right) and Kasturi Tiara Phase 2 Apartment residents looking at the garbage that has spilled out from the communal bin.

He blamed it on the garbage dumping area near the main entrance where the communal bins were always full and leachate flowed on to the road. There are over 400 apartment units.

During a media visit where Balakong assemblyman Yap Lum Chin was present, Tan pointed out the many burrows made by the rats in the ground to forage for food. Not only was the stink unbearable but large rats were also seen scurrying around.

“Some of the rats are very big and we estimate the size of the colony to run into the hundreds. The rats are no longer afraid of us and have started to run into the ground floor units,” he added.

According to M. Susila, 32, mosquitoes were also a threat and many residents including her had just recovered from dengue fever,” she said.

Susila proposed that the developer open the other entrance within the chain link fencing so that pedestrians did not have to pass by the dumping area and be at the mercy of the rats.

Rodent menace: A rat foraging for food in the spilled garbage around the communal bin. Its burrow is in the foreground.

Lee Kwan Cheng, 51, said residents were very unhappy with the developer, Cheras Hong Soon Development Sdn Bhd because the Joint Management Body (JMB) was formed without their knowledge.

“When we attended one meeting and brought up our grievances, we were literally told to back off. The scene turned ugly when some people whom we suspect were hired thugs began rough handling residents,” said Lee, who claimed to have been slapped and shoved.

Tan said the previous maintenance fee of RM66 was increased to RM76 without a consensus from residents but the quality of services remained poor.

Cheras Hong Soon Development management manager Yew Kam Choon said only 50% of the residents had paid their maintenance fees.

“We need to fork out money for the security guards, cleaners and general maintenance. There is an outstanding amount of RM300,000.

“We have successfully formed 22 JMBs for our various projects in the Balakong area and this is the only JMB with a problem,” he added.

To diffuse the tension, Yap said he would arrange a meeting between residents and the developer within a month for them to air their grouses and discuss solutions.


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