Oct 26, 2010
Dangerous items: Lim inspecting flower pots hanging precariously off the corridor ledge on the 14th floor of one of the blocks. Pots such as these may fall and injure pedestrians.
BROKEN window panes, bird cages and even potted plants were among the ‘flying objects’ that have been hurled down from some low-cost flats in Penang.
As a result, residents have had to duck falling rubbish from above while others have more efficient managements to deal with the problem.
At the cluster of 17-storey Rifle Range Flats — Penang’s oldest public housing project — residents have had to contend with all kinds of dangerous items being flung down from above.
A 50-year-old resident, who asked not to be named, claimed that broken window panes, bird cages and potted plants had been thrown down onto the ground previously.
He said rubbish falling from above were a common sight and that the problem was a long-standing issue.
“Certain residents discard beer bottles when they are drunk while there have been knives, pieces of wood, metal and glass bottles thrown by irresponsible people,” he said when met at the flats.
He added that mischievious children had also played pranks by throwing plastic bags filled with water from above.
“But no one cares and if someone is hit, then it is ‘fated’,” he said with a heavy sigh.
Macallum Street Ghaut Residents’ Association secretary Lim Poh Aun felt that proper management was the key to solving the problem.
“Previously, we would have two or three cases a month where rubbish and other items are thrown out of their units although no one was hurt” he said.
Lim, also the Village Security and Development Committees (JKKK) chairman, said the worst item was a flower pot that fell from the 14th floor and a brick that damaged a car.
“However, after launching a patrol unit and neighbourhood watch programme six months ago, these incidents have been reduced drastically,” he said.
Lim said although the problem was reduced, there would still be isolated cases as not everyone was willing to co-operate within the eight block of flats.
Wong Gim Siw, 68, who had lived in the flats for 25 years, said residents would now take ‘leisurely strolls’ around different blocks to help monitor the situation.
“If we find anyone suspicious or those who throw rubbish, we will inform the JKKK and also other neighbours,” he said.
Saw Teong Lye, 51, a machinery worker living in another block, said close circuit television (CCTV) cameras did not work previously as there was no strong enforcement.
“The management had set up the CCTV in the past but it did not work as effectively as a patrol unit,” he said.
Kampung Melayu Flats’ JKKK vice chairman Md Ariffin Abidin, who had stayed in the place for 25 years, said there might be children throwing things or rubbish but the management was efficient in cleaning the place.
Another resident known as Intan, 64, said safety was not a serious issue as the police often conducted raids against drug addicts.
“We work with the authorities and other organisations to have a cleaner living area,” she added.