INDISCRIMINATE dumping of plastic bottles, bags and containers are clogging up drains near Kuala Perlis jetty in Perlis.
Waste can also be seen overflowing from designated rubbish bins.
A travel vlogger, who goes by the user name Vlogging A Dead Horse, spent a night in the town and expressed dismay over what he saw, even labelling the place a “slum” in his 41-minute video on social media.
Standing on the Rainbow Bridge, he said it was shocking to see the deplorable state of the area as the Kuala Perlis jetty was just a stone’s throw away.
“I have been eating fast food despite there being ample stalls and restaurants, as there is rubbish scattered everywhere.
“It is a pity as most of these things can be recycled,” he said as the camera panned over drains filled with plastic packaging and bottles.
The man, who has been making his way around Malaysia, wondered why it had been left in such a condition.
His video was shared by IT assistant manager Choo Keang Wooi, 54, who said he was worried about the town’s condition and its residents.
“I am someone who enjoys watching travel vlogs. This particular guy does not go the normal touristy route of visiting fancy places.
“His videos are made to show locals and their lifestyle as he travels on a budget.
“I was shocked to see his video this time as the place looked like a dump.
“The condition of the drainage and the amount of plastic waste worries me as there is a high chance of dengue,” he said.
Choo, who is from Klang in Selangor, said he had not visited the town but felt the need to speak up as a fellow Malaysian.
“There is rubbish everywhere and that is probably why it smells.
“Most viewers were shocked and did not know who to contact to express our concern.
“It needs to be cleaned up and it looks like it is going to be a lot of work.
“The sad part is that most of the rubbish looked like items that could have been recycled, like plastic bottles and containers.
“These clogged drains could result in flooding as well,” he added.
Choo did not feel that the vlogger was putting Malaysians down but was showing the truth in his videos.
“He seems like a simple guy who believes in cleanliness.
“I am just concerned as a citizen and want to help the people there.
“They need to be educated on recycling and proper ways to discard trash,” he said.
Indera Kayangan assemblyman Gan Ay Ling said the main issues there were the accumulation of rubbish and lack of awareness among locals.
“I have raised this issue many times during the state assembly sittings.
“I urge the state to ban the use of polystyrene as it is one of the main contributors to rubbish there.
“It is a fishing industry there and they use polystyrene to store their catch.
“The hawkers there use plastic as well, which adds to the rubbish,” she said, adding that a plastic ban could result in alternative materials being considered.
Gan said those in the outskirts did not have means to discard their rubbish, resulting in waste usually ending up in the water.
“Rubbish collection is not managed well in rural areas.
“Some burn their trash and if there is a downpour, the remnants end up in the drain,” she noted.
Gan said there were no policies or penalties in place for littering.
Perlis executive councillor Azizan Sulaiman said this issue had been prevalent for quite a while as locals did not cooperate with the state government.
“They discard plastic bottles and containers into the sea and when the tide is low, the rubbish is brought to the shore.
“On Sunday, the relevant agencies went to check the town and work would be carried out to clean the entire place,” he said, adding that he had received complaints from tourists before about the mess.
“We have cleaned the area many times but residents keep throwing their rubbish into the sea and other places, which eventually leads to the drains getting clogged,” said Azizan.
“We will clean and wash the drains over the next two weeks but without the people’s cooperation, the condition here will not improve.”
He said the relevant agencies would speak to the village heads to come up with a way to create awareness and help keep the area clean.
“We can provide the infrastructure and help but if they do not stop littering, this problem will continue,” he said.