IN AN effort to address rat problems in areas under its jurisdiction, the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) health department recently organised a rat-extermination operation in the Bandar Puchong Utama commercial area in Batu 14, Puchong, and SS14 in Subang Jaya.
A total of 107 dead rats were collected in SS14 while 73 were found in Bandar Puchong Utama.
During both operations, council health department scattered poisoned bait the night before and then collected the carcasses on the day itself.
In SS14, Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh and councillor Ken Chia joined residents and business owners to clean up on Sept 20. Most of the rats were found near eateries.
Resident Rofizah Lim Abdullah, who is in her late 60s, took part in the operation and said the rats had become a nuisance, going as far as eating her cats’ food.
“I helped out with the last operation about two years ago and we caught more rats this time around,” she said.
Residents’ association member Francis Pereira was grateful to the council for organising the clean-up.
“It is important that residents and shop owners work together to keep the area clean because of the potential health hazards posed by the rats.
“I think the time has come to change our mind-set towards cleanliness. We all play a role in keeping the place clean by cooperating,” he said.
After the operation, Yeoh stressed the importance of educating the public to help stamp out rat infestations.
“This issue is not isolated to Subang and we cannot continue to adopt ad hoc efforts to solve the problem,” she said.
Yeoh added that there needs to be a small but sufficient allocation provided to the local council for basic services such as this.
According to Chia, an earlier operation conducted in August had managed to collect 115 rats.
Meanwhile, in Bandar Puchong Utama, the operation was conducted by the MPSJ health department together with residents and members of the Batu 14 Puchong New Village Community, Security and Development Committee (JKKK).
Kinrara assemblyman Ng Sze Han, who was present, said hygiene was a problem in the area, as workers could be seen preparing food in the back alleys of the area, in filthy conditions.
“The commercial area along Jalan BPU 1 and BPU 2 has been around since the 1980s, so the facilities and infrastructure may be a bit old,” he said, adding that he was still disappointed that some business owners in the area had not made a concerted effort to maintain the hygiene around their premises.
MPSJ councillor Stephen Chin, who was also present, said they had carried out a similar clean-up in the area about six months ago, when they managed to collect about 200 rats.
“We hope residents and traders will work with the local authorities as part of a continuous effort to keep their premises and the back alleys clean,” he said.
Ng said MPSJ would collaborate with local residents’ associations to conduct regular clean-up and rat-catching operations in all commercial areas in Puchong.
“It is important to raise awareness and educate the owners as their input is crucial,” he said, adding that they were looking at organising dialogues between MPSJ and eatery owners in the area soon.