Together with the increasing number of sky-scrapers in Kuala Lumpur city, the rat population in the city has also been slowly growing.

The latest statistics from the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) reveals that there are currently 6.8 million hairy rodents which have made Kuala Lumpur their permanent homes.

That is four times more than the total Kuala Lumpur population! Simply put, for every person, there is a ratio of four rats.

To make matters worse, the rats are reproducing so fast that the city is set to see an increase of two per cent in rat population per year.

With a mere 24 staff assigned to bring down that many rats, DBKL’s Pest Control Unit has its hands full, prompting the RM1 reward for each rat caught in the city.

DBKL health and environment department healthcare physician Dr Zainol Arrifin Pawanchee said the RM1 reward for one rat programme kicked off in 2008 with a target of getting rid of 50,000 rats in the city per year.

“We have managed to keep up with the target. Through the RM1 reward programme alone, we have gotten rid of 80,791 rats in the past five years. That means, we have also paid a total of RM80,791 to those who helped us to catch the rats,” explained Zainol Arrifin.


However, Zainol Arrifin cautioned the public not to take the statistics as a green light to start catching rats.
“Don’t turn up to DBKL with rats. You won’t get rewarded like that.

“You will only get rewarded if we organise the programme near your area and distribute the rat traps to you. We will open a counter near your area where you have to come back to us to surrender the rat traps after a few days.

“The traps with rats will be rewarded with RM1 each,” he explained adding that DBKL has an allocation of RM50,000 per year just for the reward.

He said the programme is usually held in areas with a high population of rats such as markets and eateries.
“The top three areas in KL that has a large number of rats are the Chow Kit market, Pudu market and the Sentul market.”

Zainol Arrifin explained that the rats will then be gathered in a large barrel, drowned in chloroform and burned.

He also advised everyone to maintain cleanliness and to avoid throwing away food waste all over the place.