Oddly Enough

Malaysia starts Lunar New Year with bounty on rats

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Authorities in Malaysia’s capital have ushered in the Year of the Rat by offering a bounty on rats to help fight the city’s age-old rodent problem, a newspaper said on Saturday.

“There’s no incentive like money,” Yew Teong Look, a member of parliament for a Kuala Lumpur precinct, was quoted by the New Straits Times as saying.

Dead or alive, the rats are worth 2 ringgit (31 pence) each, he said.

“All residents have to do is place the vermin at drop-off points where City Hall officers will collect them for disposal,” he said.

Avoiding traps, the fast-breeding mammals are found in many of the city’s homes, shops and markets, despite efforts by the city authorities to contain the problem and clean up the city.

Malaysia, with a large ethnic Chinese minority, is one of a number of country’s across Asia that have just celebrated the Lunar New Year. The Year of the Rat -- one of the 12 animals in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac -- began on Thursday.

Reporting by Jalil Hamid; Editing by Alex Richardson