Hundreds gather to clean up Ipoh flat-turned-dump site

Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir (right) cleaning up the First Garden Flat during the gotong-royong programme in Ipoh January 6, 2018. — Pictures by Farhan Najib
Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir (right) cleaning up the First Garden Flat during the gotong-royong programme in Ipoh January 6, 2018. — Pictures by Farhan Najib

IPOH, Jan 6 — A massive gotong-royong campaign was held at the First Garden Flat here to clean up the building which has been turned into a dump site.

Around 300 people gathered at the jogging track in front of the flat as early as 6.30am to clean up the rubbish which was strewn all around the flat, including the corridors.

The disgusting sight of overflowing rubbish bins and the stench reeking from it not only turned the place into a nightmare for the residents, but also to the public who visit the jogging track.

To make things worse, piles of rubbish were also spotted on the stairs and the drain.

Ipoh Mayor Datuk Zamri Man said that the problem lies in the attitude of the flat’s tenants who did not bother to maintain the cleanliness of the place.

“This is not the first we are having a gotong-royong programme in this place. Last year we had two massive programmes to clean up this place.

“But, again the place has been turned into a dump site. The rubbish is thrown by the people who live in the flat and the sad part is rubbish can be seen all along the corridor on each floor of the flats.

“The problem is with the residents’ attitude. They don’t want to change to a cleaner and hygienic lifestyle,” he told reporters when met at the gotong-royong programme.

Zamri also points out that the authorities could only clean the area outside the flat at a regular basis as the building is owned by a private entity.

He said the condition inside the flat is the responsibility of the tenants and the owner.

The large-scale cleaning programme was a joint collaboration between the State Government, Ipoh City Council and Koperasi Alam Hijau Perak Berhad (Kohijau).

The gotong-royong programme was also attended by Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir.

Ipoh City Council workers cleaning up the flat during the gotong-royong programme in Ipoh January 6, 2018.
Ipoh City Council workers cleaning up the flat during the gotong-royong programme in Ipoh January 6, 2018.

Meanwhile, State Community Welfare, Housing and Local Government Committee Chairman Datuk Rusnah Kassim said that the problem occurred as they flat has no managing body to regulate the tenants.

“The immediate action that we can take at the moment to curb the issue of rubbish dumping here is by forming a management body for the flat. This management will be overseen by the City Council,” she said.

Rusnah said the authorities will also call for a meeting with the residents in order to discuss and advise them on maintaining cleanliness.

Rusnah also said she will bring the idea of implementing the Kohijau-iCycle recycling reward point system on the resident in the next state exco meeting.

“We believe it will be a good idea to implement the system here as the tenants will now understand the worth of their rubbish and treasured it for recycling as each point they receive from the recycling programme could earn them money,” she said.

Tenant S. Prakash, 37, said that he supports any move by the authorities to clean and maintain the cleanliness of the flat.

“I move to this place eight months ago and the issue of rubbish dumping never changed. If the authorities could solve this problem, then by any mean we support them,” he said.

Another resident Sangeeta Abdul Rahman, 40, admitted that the resident are the ones should be blamed for the problem.

“The responsibility to keep the place clean should be on every single resident in the flat. If only a few are willing to cooperate, then there would not be any changes to this place,” she said.

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