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                                                    Taiping, Perak, Malaysia


Monkeys terrorise school in Taiping

Tuesday October 28, 2008
Story and photos by RASLAN BAHAROM

WHILE other school heads are worried of falling grades of their students in examinations, this is not the case for Taiping’s SM Sains Tun Azlan Shah senior principal Rahimah Mohd Sura.

She is more concerned about marauding monkeys and wild boars, which she says has been her greatest challenge since she assumed the post about two years ago.

“Our school rooftop is falling apart and so too have our perimeter fences,” she told StarMetro.
Caught in the act: A wild monkey scavenging for food within the school compound.

“After contractors have repaired the damage done to the rooftop, the monkeys will keep coming back to damage it again.”

Rahimah said the matter had been relayed to the Wildlife Department on numerous occasions.

“They were supposed to assemble a trap but they left the contraption without installing it. I was told by a game ranger that it would be assembled but it’s been a year now and nothing has been done,” she said.

Three types of monkeys have made the school, including nearby Sekolah Tunas Bakti, as their haunt to forage for food.
Mat Lela showing a part of the school field which has been damaged by wild boars looking for worms.

Hostel supervisor Mat Lela Othman said some classrooms were leaking even after repair jobs were done as the animals returned to do damage again.

“They normally do that when they could not find any food or leftovers at the school canteen,” he said.

Mat Lela said students from the co-ed residential school were discouraged from walking alone.

“In the past, students who walked around alone were known to have been chased by the monkeys,” he said.

He also said that one of his unofficial duties was to inspect the perimeter fences damaged by wild boars.

He said that each time they closed up a gaping hole in the fence, the wild boars would return to damage other portions of the perimeter fence within few days.

Rahimah, who had earlier highlighted the school’s woes in her speech at the school prize-giving day which was graced by the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, said about RM1mil was needed to repair the damage caused by the animals.

She also called on the Education Department to speed up the construction of the school hostel for female students as the present dormitory was too overcrowded.

“The teachers’ room has also become too congested,” she added.

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