Bedok Mall steps up checks, cleaning after rat clip

Facebook user William Lim on Oct 18, claimed to have seen two rats falling from the air-conditioning duct in the ceiling.
Facebook user William Lim on Oct 18, claimed to have seen two rats falling from the air-conditioning duct in the ceiling.PHOTO: WILLIAM LIM/FACEBOOK

The management of Bedok Mall has stepped up cleaning at the shopping centre after a video of a rat limping near its food outlets was posted online last week.

The 32-second clip was posted by one William Lim on Oct 18, who claimed to have seen two rats falling from the air-conditioning duct in the ceiling.

One rodent "broke its leg" while another scurried into a shop, he said.

The video has been shared more than 5,000 times as of 7pm yesterday. The incident happened in Basement Two of the shopping centre, where eateries are located.

Bedok Mall's management told The Straits Times on Wednesday that a pest control company was called in immediately and the rats were caught the next day.

Mall general manager Mustafa Abdul Rahim said: "We laid more traps as a preventive measure and continue to monitor the area closely.

"No rodent activity has been detected since," he added.

The mall now conducts pest control checks daily instead of weekly, he said.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said it started inspecting all the food shops in the mall on Wednesday.

It added that it has detected rat activity and is working with the mall to implement rat control measures.

NEA also said that between 2012 and June this year, it has taken action 14 times against the management of malls found to have pest infestations.

In the first half of this year, the NEA also conducted more than 75,000 inspections on food shops and took more than 100 enforcement actions against errant premise owners.

Operators convicted of lapses in hygiene can be fined up to $2,000. They will also be issued demerit points.

Some shoppers who had seen the clip said they might think twice about visiting Bedok Mall.

Said housewife Angel Peng, 38: "I could feel my hair standing when I watched the video."

In January, a dead rat was found in a salted vegetable dish at a buffet restaurant in Marina Square. The following month, a baby rat fell from the false ceiling in the same mall.

Marina Square stepped up pest control checks and put up glue traps, leading to a marked improvement in the rat situation.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2015, with the headline 'Bedok Mall steps up checks, cleaning after rat clip'. Print Edition | Subscribe