New coat of anti-mozzie paint for needy Radin Mas families

Volunteers (from left) Cheng Wen Jie, Leow Hua Hui and Rexmond Lim, all aged 21, painting the walls and ceiling of a flat at Block 106 Jalan Bukit Merah yesterday.
Volunteers (from left) Cheng Wen Jie, Leow Hua Hui and Rexmond Lim, all aged 21, painting the walls and ceiling of a flat at Block 106 Jalan Bukit Merah yesterday.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Needy households in the Radin Mass constituency are getting a fresh coat of anti-mosquito paint as part of a community initiative.

Thirty-six rental flats were given a coat of anti-mosquito paint by volunteers yesterday to mark the start of a two-year scheme that will see 216 such homes brushed up.

The PAlettes of Radin Mas initiative has been set up by Radin Mas grassroots organisations and Kansai Paint.

It was launched at Block 105, Jalan Bukit Merah, by Mr Sam Tan, Minister of State (Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of Manpower) and MP for Radin Mas.

"This is one opportunity where we will give a new and fresh coat of paint to families in Radin Mas constituency not only to repaint their house, to provide a preventive shield against the mosquitoes, but also to add life and colour into their family," said Mr Tan.

The project ties up the Government with the private sector and what he called the "people sector" - students and other volunteers.

COLOURFUL WAY TO KEEP OUT MOZZIES

This is one opportunity where we will give a new and fresh coat of paint to families in Radin Mas constituency not only to repaint their house, to provide a preventive shield against the mosquitoes, but also to add life and colour into their family.

MR SAM TAN, MP for Radin Mas, on giving the homes of needy residents in the area a fresh coat of anti-mosquito paint.

Some 250 volunteers from the PSB Academy, Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, Zhen Ren Gong temple and Radin Mas grassroots organisations took part yesterday.

The 216 flats, in Blocks 104 to 106 Jalan Bukit Merah, come under the Public Assistance Scheme and were assessed by the Residents' Committee and Social Service Office to be most in need.

They will be painted with ALES Anti-MosQ, an almost odourless water-based interior paint developed by sponsor Kansai Paint.

This version, which costs 10 to 15 per cent more than conventional paint, contains permethrin, an insecticide based on a natural compound in chrysanthemums.

It affects the nervous system of mosquitoes, deterring them from landing on the walls. Such painted walls can retain their insecticidal properties for at least three years.

Kansai Paint's chief operating officer, Mr Richard Leong, said: "We are not only contributing to the fight against dengue and Zika, but we are also helping the really needy of this community."

Residents are pleased to get a new coat of paint for their flats, but said there are very few mosquitoes in the area.

Mr Abdul Rasid Abdul Latiff, 61, who lives on the fourth floor of Block 105, requested his bathroom and kitchen ceilings to be painted. The petrol station attendant, who pays $26 a month in rent, said: "There are no mosquitoes here, although there are cockroaches sometimes."

Madam Kok Tao Chin, 77, who has been living on the sixth floor for about eight years, said she and her two granddaughters who live with her have had very few mosquito bites.

She is more worried about living expenses. "Watching TV will increase the electricity bill, so I go downstairs to the senior citi- zens' centre to chat with friends instead."

The paint was successfully trialled by Nee Soon Town Council earlier this year and will be used in 18 residential blocks there by the end of the year.

WATCH THE VIDEO
Volunteers helping to apply anti-mosquito paint at http://str.sg/4Y7S

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2016, with the headline 'New coat of anti-mozzie paint for needy Radin Mas families'. Print Edition | Subscribe