Indiscriminate food dumping adds to growing rat problem

PETALING JAYA - Rat infestations in cities and residential areas are compounded by the Malaysian habit of wasting food and their couldn't-care-less attitude in waste disposal.

Fomca deputy president Muhammad Sha'ani Abdullah said while proper garbage collection services were vital, Malaysians should also be responsible about their consumption of food.

"It is not good to waste food but some people let loose at buffets and do not finish what they put on their plates," he said, adding that this contributed to the amount of leftover food dumped by restaurant operators.

Consumers, he said, could do their part to improve the cleanliness standards of food outlets by avoiding restaurants which do not practise good hygiene.

"Staying away from such restaurants is more effective than strict enforcement as operators will be forced to clean up their act," Muhammad Sha'ani said.

He said some Malaysians also had no qualms about throwing things and were ignorant about the objective behind the "no plastic bags" day.

"They do not understand that the objective is to reduce waste, especially plastic bags. Similarly, there are food operators who use plastic forks, spoons and polystyrene plates to serve customers.

"This only adds to the amount of trash generated," Muhammad Sha'ani said.

Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners' Association deputy president T. Muthusamy said food should not be wasted but the more important matter was to have proper garbage disposal.

"There are some instances where garbage bags might be torn during collection or disposal.

"Items inside the bag, including wet food can spill out. This contributes to creating a breeding ground for rats," he said.

Muthusamy welcomed the Health Ministry's registration of food premises, saying it would foster a better relationship between both parties and create awareness on food hygiene.