Friday, July 2, 2010

Not so chirpy residents

MP Segambut Lim Lip Eng listens to residents of Country Heights Damansara. Photo by NICK.

Massive: The three-storey structure built on a hill next to Country Heights Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. Photo by M. AZHAR

Source: By PRIYA MENON (2/7/2010)

RESIDENTS of Country Heights Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, are resenting the bird calls they hear every day and night from an illegal bird nest building next door. The massive three-storey structure built on a hill near the posh neighbourhood has been there for more than six months and attracts a large number of swiftlets into the building.

“An electronic musical sound mimicking birds had been placed inside the building to attract the swiftlets,” said Pete Meehan. At first, residents were puzzled by the constant noise from the jungle that never ceased until they discovered the activity.

“We were surprised that the jungle was so noisy, then we found out that an electronic musical sound mimicking birds had been placed inside the building to attract the swiftlets,” said Pete Meehan. He added that people bought the RM8mil to RM10mil homes to enjoy peace and quiet only to be disturbed by the sound of birds.

According to another resident, Ang Kim Jhew, they have made at least six complaints to the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) since April. “We were later told the problem is under the Department of Environment (DoE) and we complained to them as well. DoE later sent a letter to the DBKL supporting our complaint,” added Ang. However, no action has been taken so far. They are also worried about environmental issues, including the droppings.

The residents contacted Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng to help them in their task. “I have checked with the DBKL and they told me that there has been no permit for bird’s nest harvesting in Kuala Lumpur,” he said.

Lim and StarMetro visited the site and found another structure being built. When asked, the Indonesian workers who declined to be named, said the new structure was a section of rooms to be rented out. The bird’s nest building was also locked and the workers said they did not have the keys to the building. “We have not harvested the nests yet but there have been many birds coming and in out of the building,” said the worker.

Lim said he would lodge an official statement with the DBKL on behalf of the residents and would give the council two weeks to resolve the problem. “I will ask that the man running the business be served a notice to close down the place and if the structure is illegal the owner will have to tear that down as well,” he added.

When contacted, DBKL’s corporate communications unit said they were aware of the problem and that the structure was illegal as it was built without a development order. DBKL confirmed it will be taking action against the businessman as soon as possible.

The man, who did not want to be named, refused to talk to the press.

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