Foreigners under hired guards


Ongoing fight: People (above) walking out as workers disinfect the premises at Prima Bayu apartments in Klang. — KK SHAM/The Star

KLANG: Fearful for their safety and that of their families, residents living in two apartment blocks in Bayu Perdana here have hired security guards to ensure that the almost 30 Nepali factory workers there do not leave their units.

Prima Bayu Apartments residents’ association president P. Mageswarren said they feared the men, who work for a factory in

Port Klang, might have contracted Covid-19.

“The factory has rented seven apartment units here to house 50 workers and 21 of them were found to be Covid-19 positive during a routine test conducted by their company last week, ’’ said Mageswarren.

He added that the factory, which temporarily ceased operations because of this, had notified the residents association about the matter.

“We were told on Thursday night and we informed the Health Department which took the 21 men away on Friday evening, ’’ he said.

According to Mageswarren, the residents were worried as the remaining workers were still in

the premises and had not been removed from there.

“They had stayed together with the 21 Nepalis who were infected and even if they had tested negative during the company routine testing, they could be positive by now or anytime soon, ’’ said Mageswarren.

So, the only thing the residents could do for now, he said, was to prevent the remaining Nepalis from leaving their apartments by hiring security guards to keep an eye on them.

He added that there were 650 families and about 2,000 people in the two blocks.

One of the association’s committee members, Karpal Singh, was also on standby to make sure nothing untoward happens.

Mageswarren also said the association had contacted the Klang district health office asking for the residents to be tested for Covid-19.

“They told us that we would be charged a minimum of RM150 for a test and our residents find this costly as there are several people in each family.

“We can only afford to pay RM50 for each test, ’’ said Mageswarren who added that he had written to Klang MP Charles Santiago seeking help to negotiate with the health department for a lower rate.

Mageswarren said it was necessary to conduct tests on the residents as they had shared common staircases, lifts and walkways with the infected men.

When contacted, Santiago said he would be having a zoom meeting with the district health officer today asking for a cheaper rate

for the tests.

“The tests have to be done because the panicked residents had shared common areas including the lifts with the infected factory workers, ’’ he added.

Santiago said the Klang Municipal council had disinfected the common areas in the apartments on Saturday and his office had gathered volunteers to repeat the process on Sunday.

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