Local singer-songwriter Elson Soh blog about his experience at a pest-infested flat in Eunos Crescent
Local singer-songwriter Elson Soh blog about his experience at a pest-infested flat in Eunos Crescent when he visited this family with his Project Coordinator Jacky Goh last night.
His blog post went viral and attracted more than 100 Singaporeans contacting him and Jacky Goh via whatsapp since this morning, stating that they are willing to step forward to assist in the house cleaning.
Senior Lawyer Tan Lam Siong, also volunteered at Project Awareness, expressing his interest in giving a counseling session for Mr Lim and Mdm Soh, the owners of the flat.
Elson Soh replied to the online media that he will have a discussion with his team and will update everybody through Project Awareness Facebook page by this weekend on how they could assist this family.
Read his blog post below:
Pest-infested flat in Eunos Crescent plagues neighbours
Went to visit this unit which was published in The Straits Times and Shin Ming Daily News. My team and myself got a shock when the owner Mr Lim (74 years old) opened his door as the smell was indeed unbearable.
We can see dozens of cockroaches crawling around, while dead ones lay motionless on the sticky floor and some even on the walls.
There are stacks of newspapers, clothes, boxes, empty bottles and cans lined the walls. The items filled the two rooms and kitchen to a chest-high level, and there was only a narrow passage left for walking. Mr Lim sleeps on the sofa at the living room, while Mdm Soh (66 years old) sleeps at the utility room next to the toilet. The condition in the kitchen is even worst, as we can see flying cockroaches accompanied by the smell of rotten foods filled the place, and dying insects can be seen everywhere.
I spoke to Mr Lim and asked why he had refused to throw away those dirty items and he replied to me saying all these items belongs to his wife Mdm Soh. When we ask him where is Mdm Soh, he say they are not on talking term since 20 years ago, even since she suffered from post-natal depression. When asked of the pest infestation, Mr Lim says that all the cockroaches are his "friends" now.
When we left the house, we spoke to two neighbours and they are very concerned about this family, not because of their dirty environment but both the elderly health condition. I can tell that their neighbours actually do care for them, just that their helping hands had been rejected.
While we were walking back to our car, we saw a women hiding behind the letter box peeping at us. When I ask her whether she is Mrs Lim, she scream at us, saying that why we write all the untruth stuffs about her house in the newspaper. After we tell her we are volunteers from Project Awareness, she quieten down and invited us to sit down to chat. We bought her an ice cream and after taking a few mouthfuls, she kept the remainder inside a maggot filled plastic bags. Ants can also be seen crawling in and out of her shirt but it doesnt seem to bother her too.
During the chatting session, me and my Project Coordinator Jacky Goh, can tell that she is suffering from some kind of mental disorder, as she keep telling us that she attempted suicide a couple of times. We did try our best to encourage her to sell away all her items inside the house to exchange for cash, but she insisted on keeping all the items.
Mdm Soh share with us that many government agencies approach her recently, and she is very willing to let the Town Council and HDB do the house cleaning for her. But after awhile, she changed her mind suddenly and accused us of trying to trick her to throw away her stuffs at her home.
I'm wondering how Project Awareness can help Mr Lim and Mdm Soh, especially when both of them are living in such a terrible condition environment. My heart sank when I was sitting close to Mdm Soh. Jacky, on the other hand, accompanied Mr Lim inside their house. I feel that the both of them have a serious communication problem, and I really hope we can have a solution for them.