Illegal traders assault the senses in no man’s land

Some of the rubbish thrown on the road. The Selangor Cheshire Home is in the background.

SELAYANG: Illegal traders and the garbage they throw anywhere they like are causing a stink in an area over which neither Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) nor the Selayang Municipal Council can claim jurisdiction.

And the people who suffer most from the eyesore and the stench are those living in a welfare home in the area.

“I’ve never seen so much rubbish before in my life,” Selangor Cheshire Home president Khatijah Sulaiman told FMT.

Established in 1963 to create opportunities for people with physical and mental disabilities, the home provides residential care, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, counselling and job coaching for its 53 residents.

The four-acre facility is located just metres away from the Selayang morning market, where illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar have long controlled business.

Their activities have now spilled out into the streets, and they openly sell produce such as vegetables, fruits, fish and poultry just inches away from traffic, mainly on a road leading to the welfare home.

There are piles of trash of trash on the side of the road bordering the home and some of the rubbish could be seen inside its fenced compound.

“It’s been getting worse and worse,” said Khatijah.

“I believe they are all illegal traders. Why are they not stopped? I think there is a syndicate protecting them.”

Traders along the narrow road leading to the Selangor Cheshire Home.

Selayang municipal councillor Deveandran Selvaraju told FMT council workers last December removed two bins placed in front of the home after complaints were received about the stench.

The traders then started dumping their rubbish on the streets and into the home’s compound, he added.

He said the council’s enforcement officers had carried out some raids but had been unable to do much more than confiscate the traders’ produce.

He added that enforcement was problematic because the traders would normally operate in an ungazetted zone lying between DBKL’s and the Selayang council’s areas of jurisdiction.

“They move to the DBKL side when we conduct raids. So, by law, we can’t any take action.

“We just did an operation recently and we confiscated all their products. But when we returned two days later, they were back.”

He said the immigration department should look into the matter.

Deveandran also said the Selayang council had planned to install CCTV cameras in the area but found it couldn’t do so because of the lack of clarity with regard to jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, the Cheshire folk are continuing to suffer.

Khatijah said potential donors were being put off from visiting the establishment because access to it is often blocked by heavy foot traffic and parked trucks and other vehicles.

She also spoke of alleged threats of violence and break-ins by migrants and complained about the construction of a chicken abattoir in a building about 150 metres away from the home.

NGOs, traders and area residents have cited hygiene risks in fierce protests against the abattoir, which apparently will be able to process up to 120,000 chickens a day.

“Imagine that,” said Khatijah.

“The authorities say they want to create a centralised abattoir to slaughter chickens, but what about the waste and the smell?”