Having monitor lizards and snakes as neighbours

BANGI: While residents in most areas keep an eye out for thieves or robbers, the residents of Taman Seri Kota here have to worry about monitor lizards and snakes.

And they have been keeping a lookout for these reptiles over the last decade.

According to a resident who wished to be known as Lim, residents have to share their roads with monitor lizards and snakes due to empty promises made by developers of the Winnie Plaza and City Heights Apartment.

Speaking to FMT, Lim said the developers had promised to cover up the monsoon drain in the area to prevent flooding and keep garbage from being dumped there.

“It has been 10 years now. Winnie Plaza is no longer in operation and the monsoon drain is still not covered.

“All kinds of rubbish is dumped into it. I’ve seen animal corpses, an old mattress, furniture and the usual food waste.

“No one cleans it up and the rubbish gets washed away by the rain only to clog up another part of the drain further down. The problem does not get solved.”

Because the monsoon drain was not covered up, Lim added, monitor lizards and snakes often made their way to the residential area.

“We’ve seen a six-foot-long monitor lizard walking around with its baby. Some of us who rear pets, our puppies and kittens have gone missing. Were they eaten by the lizards and snakes?” she asked.

Another problem the residents have been facing is dengue. The entire Sungai Chua is a “black area”, Lim said.

“Six family members of one of my neighbours were down with dengue fever. But nothing has been done until today to solve this problem.

“With the monsoon drain in this kind of condition, of course mosquitoes will breed.”

According to Lim, there are plans by developers to build a 20-storey mixed commercial project in the vicinity.

“There is no space for this kind of project as the roads are narrow. The only entrance to that plot of land (location of said project) is through the road in front of my house.

“Can you imagine the traffic congestion it will cause?”

Asked if residents had objected to the project, Lim said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition that ruled Selangor had not been of much help.

“They have been here for 10 years, but they have done nothing. I don’t see any difference between this government and the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

“We voted because we thought there was hope. But it seems like nothing much has changed.

“When we complain about the trash in the monsoon drain, they will send someone to look at it. But nothing will be done.”

Another resident known as Kong said the empty plot of land in question was vacant and had attracted “wild animals”.

“Previously, there was a workshop but it burned down. They said they would do something with it, but it has been left vacant and is now populated with weeds.

“The last time some migrant workers came to search for reusables, since it has become a dumping ground, they found snakes.

“I live so near to this plot of land, it will only be a matter of time before these snakes come into my house.”

Kong said the authorities needed to decide quickly what they wanted to do with the vacant land as it was also attracting mosquitoes, resulting in a rise in dengue cases.

“If they are not planning to do anything, at least clean the area up. Those of us who live here have to fork out our own money to clean up the area. But how long can we continue to do this?” Kong asked.

Taman Seri Kota is a township located in Sungai Chua, an area which was included in the Balakong state constituency before the May 9 polls as part of the Election Commission’s redelineation exercise.

Prior to the general election, Sungai Chua was part of the Kajang state constituency. The elected representative there has been from the then-Pakatan Rakyat coalition, and now PH, since 2008.

MCA Balakong candidate Tan Chee Teong has pledged to solve monsoon drain issues in the constituency should he win the by-election.

Tan said although these problems seemed small, as they worsened they resulted in flash floods in the Sungai Chua area.

The Balakong seat fell vacant following the death of its assemblyman Eddie Ng of DAP in an accident on the Grand Saga Expressway on July 20.

Tan will be up against PH candidate Wong Siew Ki, who is also from DAP.

In the 14th general election, Ng obtained 41,768 votes while MCA’s Lim Chee Wah received 5,874 votes and PAS’ Mohamad Ibrahim Ghazali got 6,230 votes.