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The New Paper
Feb 14, 2023
A diner at an eatery at People's Park Centre last week (Feb 9) paused his meal to quickly grab his phone and snap a photo of a rat darting about on the floor.
The rodent had been loitering around unsuspecting people’s feet as they ate. It even crawled up a woman’s shoe before she shook it off in horror.
All this unfortunately are a common occurrence at the location, said staff and patrons, speaking to Shin Min Daily News.
Every morning at 5am, 60-year-old stall assistant Xiao would see two or three small rats while opening up the stall. Sometimes, she would spot several larger ones too.
"I would grab onto a steel grille and shake it." she said, " Usually, the sound would scare them off. But the larger rats, they don't get frightened no matter what you do. They'll just go on their way leisurely."
Hu, an assistant at another stall, said he has seen rats crawling around in the ceiling above the smoking point at the food centre. He suspects there is a rat nest there.
"Once in a while, I see a few large rats crawling along the ceiling beams. I'm quite wary that the rat droppings will land on me." he said.
One regular patron of the food centre, surnamed Zhang, 70, said she once saw a rat while dining there. Another diner, Lu, 60, said that apart from the rats, the decades-old mall also has a bird infestation.
According to Shin Min, the authorities visited People's Park Food Centre on Feb 10 to inspect the situation.
In response to the rat problem, People's Park Food Centre Association president Chia Sai Im said they are performing stringent checks and carrying out regular cleaning work.
Every month, a pest control company does checks and carries out pest eradication services. Workers perform a “deep-cleaning” of the centre every two to three months, which includes the floor and ceiling. Vendors are also required to clean their own stalls.
Given that People's Park Centre is a fairly old building, Chia said that rat problems are an ongoing concern.
She said the authorities are planning to renovate parts of the mall this year, but she is still awaiting confirmation on the details.