BRANDED the ‘dirtiest flats in Penang’, blocks E1 and E2 of Teluk Indah flats in Prai, Penang, are still a sorry sight.
A good number of residents at the 21-storey blocks simply fling all kinds of rubbish out their doors and down the air wells.
The bags burst upon hitting the ground, sending food waste spilling all over and making the place a haven for rats.
A visit by Penang Front Party (PFP) members on Friday revealed that the ground floor of the flats was as filthy as it was when The Star first highlighted conditions there in 2016.
PFP Youth president Jasper Ooi took Prai assemblyman Dr P. Ramasamy to task for not helping residents make a change.
“He has to guide the people and enforce the laws. He cannot leave the people in this state,” he said.
Jasper said he was disappointed because the Cleaner, Greener Penang policy did not seem to apply to Teluk Indah flats.
Also present were PFP chairman Datuk Patrick Ooi and Teluk Indah flats joint management body (JMB) chairman R. Subramaniam.
Subramaniam said the littering was getting out of control.
“It’s so smelly here. There are proper places to throw rubbish but the residents ignore them,” he said.
He said he wanted Dr Ramasamy to go and “use his authority” to help educate residents.
He claimed that since September, he had not seen Dr Ramasamy nor his men visit the flats.
In response, Dr Ramasamy asked PFP to “show us how to keep the place clean”.
He said that on top of arranging numerous cleanliness campaigns at the flats, he had helped pay about RM1mil in electricity bills of the flats for the last few years.
“It’s easy to blame. Blame me if I didn’t do a thing but my team and I have helped the residents as best we can.”
He admitted that the poor habits of the residents as a whole was a problem, probably because the majority were foreigners or from the low income group.
“Our long-term goal is to complete the process of getting strata titles for the flats.
“Once that is done, the flats will have higher values and the community mindset will change accordingly.”
In July 2016, municipal councillor David Marshel, who was fed up with the filth, put up a banner which read ‘Tahniah Teluk Indah Blok E Flats Terkotor Di Pulau Pinang. Adakah Anda Bangga?’ (Congratulations to Teluk Indah Block E Flats, dirtiest in Penang. Are you proud?).
A month later, residents, municipal staff and contract workers hired by the flats’ JMB did a major cleanup while wearing T-shirts with the words ‘Saya Bukan Pengotor’ (I Am Not A Dirty Person).
But the filth returned after that.