Cockroach-infested flat in Eunos Crescent being cleaned up

Mr Lim Chin Ting demonstrating how he showers every day in a toilet that is filled with junk. Mr Lim, a drinks assistant at a coffee shop nearby, has to live in a three-room flat that is filled with junk at Block 19 Eunos Crescent because his wife, M
Mr Lim Chin Ting demonstrating how he showers every day in a toilet that is filled with junk. Mr Lim, a drinks assistant at a coffee shop nearby, has to live in a three-room flat that is filled with junk at Block 19 Eunos Crescent because his wife, Madam Soh Siew Zhen, is a hoarder. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER
Dead cockroaches littering the floor between the kitchen and the toilet in the three-room flat that is filled with junk at Block 19 Eunos Crescent. One of the owners, Madam Soh Siew Zhen, is a hoarder. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER
Dead cockroaches littering the floor between the kitchen and the toilet in the three-room flat that is filled with junk at Block 19 Eunos Crescent. One of the owners, Madam Soh Siew Zhen, is a hoarder. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER
Mr Lim Chin Ting has to sleep on the sofa in the living room because both bedrooms are filled to the brim with rubbish. Mr Lim, a drinks assistant at a coffee shop nearby, has to live in a three-room flat that is filled with junk at Block 19 Eunos Cr
Mr Lim Chin Ting has to sleep on the sofa in the living room because both bedrooms are filled to the brim with rubbish. Mr Lim, a drinks assistant at a coffee shop nearby, has to live in a three-room flat that is filled with junk at Block 19 Eunos Crescent because his wife, Madam Soh Siew Zhen, is a hoarder. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER
Madam Nur’Ashkin Zainol with her husband, Fazlan Sahat. Their neighbour at Block 19 Eunos Crescent, Madam Soh Siew Zhen, is a hoarder. Madam Nur’Ashikin posted a video showing hundreds of cockroaches swarming out to the common corridor after the
Madam Nur’Ashkin Zainol with her husband, Fazlan Sahat. Their neighbour at Block 19 Eunos Crescent, Madam Soh Siew Zhen, is a hoarder. Madam Nur’Ashikin posted a video showing hundreds of cockroaches swarming out to the common corridor after the National Environment Agency officers, on an anti-dengue drive, sprayed insecticide in the flat. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER
Madam Soh Siew Zhen, a hoarder, sitting on a void deck bench with two plastic bags of leftover food and drinks. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER
Madam Soh Siew Zhen, a hoarder, sitting on a void deck bench with two plastic bags of leftover food and drinks. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER
Representatives from grassroots organisations, the HDB and the National Environment Agency helped to clear up the living room of the cockroach-infested Eunos Crescent flat on Saturday.
Representatives from grassroots organisations, the HDB and the National Environment Agency helped to clear up the living room of the cockroach-infested Eunos Crescent flat on Saturday.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

After more than a decade of putting up with cockroaches coming from the flat next door, Ms Nur'Ashikin Zainol is now hopeful that the problem is almost over.

A clean-up crew set about clearing rubbish and exterminating pests on Saturday in the three-room flat in Eunos Crescent which is occupied by drink stall assistant Lim Chin Ting, 74, and his wife, Madam Soh Siew Zhen, 66.

Madam Soh had filled the rooms with old newspapers, clothes, boxes and other items which became a breeding ground for cockroaches.

The clean-up team included representatives from grassroots organisations, the Housing Board, and the National Environment Agency (NEA).

Only the living room has been cleared for now, but Ms Nur'Ashikin said she has seen fewer cockroaches and is "optimistic".

"Everybody is doing their best to clean up the house," she added.

The pests would often crawl into the flat where Ms Nur'Ashikin lives with her mother, husband and two children.

The 33-year-old cake decorator said her parents had put up with the problem for years. "They didn't really want to complain. They just lived with it."

Ms Nur'Ashikin did not approach the authorities, nor did she press Mr Lim on the issue. "We didn't want a confrontation," she said.

But last month, while conducting dengue checks in the neighbourhood, NEA came across Mr Lim's unit and sprayed insecticide inside the flat to kill mosquitoes.

Cockroaches swarmed into the corridor. Ms Nur'Ashikin posted a video of the scene on Facebook.

"We just wanted them to get help," she said."Maybe a charity foundation or volunteers could help them to clean up the place after it has been cleared."

Mr Lim said things were "okay" but he did not want further media attention.

janiceh@sph.com.sg