Risk of disease outbreak adds to mounting concerns in wake of floods

TANAH MERAH - The spectre of a disease outbreak is now hanging over residents who are struggling to cope with the aftermath of the floods.

Although water and power supplies are gradually resuming since last Friday and food supply like vegetables and chicken are also being sold after the reopening of roads, residents are worried about diseases caused by contaminated water, rubbish and carcasses.

The stink from rotten food and garbage is pervasive everywhere, from the town centre to the villages.

Tan Kim Kui, 46, who runs a bookshop, had to discard countless books, magazines and other items that were damaged in the disaster.

"I contacted the recycling companies but they said their stores are full.

"I'm not selling but giving them away and yet, no one wants them," she said.

One housewife, who only wanted to be known as Rima, said she had no choice but to dispose her damaged belongings.

"My whole house was submerged under water. I had to throw away almost everything," she said.

MCA central committee member Koh Chin Han called on local councils to look into the rubbish problems to prevent an outbreak of infectious diseases.

He also reminded the people to be careful in their food intake.

Koh, who is Malacca MCA secretary, came here to help clean up SJK (C) Yuk Cheng, which was damaged in the floods.

"I am merely doing my part to help.

"Most importantly, we must ensure that the school is able to start as scheduled next Monday," he said, adding that many desks, chairs and teaching materials were destroyed.

Joining him in the operation were several division leaders from Malacca MCA, grassroots leaders and members as well as volunteers from the party's Crisis Relief Squad from Perlis, Kedah and Perak.