Butterworth flats ‘filthy’

BUTTERWORTH: Deplorable conditions at a block of flats, which became worse during the movement control order (MCO), have forced the Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP) to intervene.

Conditions at Block C of the Taman Perai Indah flat had been described as disgusting and inhumane with foul odour lingering in the air.

An inspection of the flat, which has 180 units, by the MBSP health department found holes under the broken elevator’s shaft filled with garbage.

There were also empty liquor bottles scattered along the hallways and stairways.

The department’s enforcement team yesterday also carried out random checks on the units, while MBSP workers were deployed to help with the clean-up.

MBSP councillor P. David Marshel said warning notices had been issued to the management and the council would bill the management for cleaning works.

“Maintenance of the building and its compound are not under the jurisdiction of the council, but we are doing this in view of public health concerns.

“Photos of the filthy conditions at the block has put the council in a bad light and it has come under attack on social media.

“I urge the management to buck up and be more stringent in enforcing cleanliness of the place, ” he said.

Building manager M. Kajendran said he could only look on in disgust as the problems became full-blown during the MCO.

“At least 98% of residents here are foreigners, some units have up to 12 people in one unit.

“The issue of residents dumping garbage and their food waste out of their windows has been going on for years.

“Due to the MCO, the foreign factory workers could not go to work and stayed in the units.

“They just threw everything out of their units, ” he said.

Kajendran said although the monthly maintenance per unit only cost RM80, some owners had accumulated up to RM25,000 in overdue payments.

“About 60% of the owners here do not pay maintenance fees.

“They squeeze themselves into the lifts with their bicycles and cause damage.

“They break water pipes to shower outside their homes and don’t use the communal garbage bin provided.

“We have two cleaners working in this block and sometimes we have to get help from other cleaners from Block A.

“Today we clean, tomorrow it’s a mess again, ” he added.

The drains around the block are filled with greasy sludge and food waste could be found strewn around the compound. The walls of the block are also stained with betel nut juice.

Former taxi driver Mohd Yasin Sahud Hamid, 68, said there were only two local families living at the block, while the rest were foreigners.

“When I moved in here about 20 years ago, the situation wasn’t so bad. We had local neighbours.

“Later, they moved out and rented the place to factories to house foreign workers.

“Whenever there is water disruption, the foreigners go downstairs and take a shower from the water hoses in the common area.

“They gut their fish by the drain and spit everywhere. At night, they host parties with loud music and get drunk.

“I hope the factories can be more responsible with their foreign workers, ” he said.

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