Skylift entry: A female MPPP enforcement officer entering the second floor of the shophouses in Carnavon Street
Unprocessed material: A council worker showing a bowl believed to contain birds' nest in a building in Carnarvon Street.
Serious about crackdown: Penang Municipal Council enforcement personnel taking down a partition for swiflet breeding at the shophouse on Lorong Tok Aka.
THE authorities used a chain- saw to break into an illegal swiftlet nest farming site and a skylift to gain entry into another building suspected to be used for the same purpose.
A 60-member team, comprising Penang Municipal Council (MPPP), police and Penang Veterinary Department personnel, took part in the enforcement exercise yesterday to rid George Town of illegal swiftlet farming premises.
They first went to three adjoining double-storey shophouses on Carnarvon Street at about 10am but found the units unoccupied and ‘To Let’ notices pasted on the doors at the lower level.
. MPPP personnel then used a skylift to get to the top floor and climbed into the building via a window there after removing its heavily tinted panes.
Shortly after, a worker came to open the door, saying that his boss told him to do so after being notified that there were many enforcement officers there.
Although the MPPP personnel found swiftlet droppings on the floor and a bowl believed to contain unprocessed birds nest, they could not find any nests or swiflets inside the building.
The man, who declined to be named, said his boss stopped the swiftlet nest business three years ago.
“He has renovated the units and is waiting for any interested party to rent the three shophouses,” he said.
His boss, known only as Yeoh, arrived minutes after the enforcement team left and was heard asking his employee why the enforcement personnel had to enter his premises like thieves.
When he saw a photographer taking photos of swiflet droppings inside the building, Yeoh lost his temper and pulled the photographer’s backpack before chasing the newsmen away.
The enforcement team later proceeded to a double-storey shophouse on Lorong Tok Aka where twittering sounds from speakers used to attract the swiftlets could be heard clearly.
They used a chainsaw to cut open the door lock after several calls went unanswered.
They left a RM250 compound notice on the door after seizing speakers from the unit and taking down partitions used for swiftlet nest farming.
MPPP had divided swiftlet nest farms in the city into four categories and the enforcement action yesterday was the start of the operations against 32 sites which had been illegally converted into such farms.
Penang Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said these farms had been issued with notices to stop operations last year.
“We have earlier acted against 11 new illegal swiftlet farming operators.
“The third category are 50 operators who applied for licences but did not get approval while 28 operators who came under the fourth category have received temporary licences,” he said.
The National Council for Local Government had decided on Sept 2 last year that new swiftlet nest farms would not be allowed at heritage sites in Penang and Malacca while existing ones would have to clear out in three years.
Chow said the state would not wait until the grace period ends before taking action.
*Source: Star online*
Good swiftlet farming All!