Letter: Dogs Attack NZ Tourists Having Morning Stroll

At 11am Friday, July 27, my wife and I, both New Zealand tourists staying at the Housing Trust Ipoh Old Town (Perumahan Jalan Kampar), had a walk to the local wet market at Pasir Pinji.

In less than 15m out on Jalan Haji Yusoff 12, the owner or tenants living at the house opened the door and allowed a large black guard dog make a run at my wife. She used her umbrella to ward off the dog. I then took the umbrella from her to ward off the dog who was lunging and snarling at us.

As we were about to reach the market (10 minutes later) walking along a suburban road (Jalan Pasir Pinji Road 12) a dog, another large one, came out growling and approaching my wife threateningly; I quickly snatched the umbrella from her to ward off the dog and the dog began chasing us barking and growling so I thankfully found a small stone by the roadside to throw at the dog.

Being tourists from New Zealand who have lived and worked in Australia, Europe and Singapore and having lived in Airbnb for three years, Ipoh has become to us the worse in terms of attitude and treatment of tourists. Now my wife remarks “no wonder there are so many empty houses, rooms and homestays”.

My wife is still traumatised by the experience which had occurred six hours earlier (at the time of writing). Our concern is for the community of Ipoh and for tourism in Ipoh where if tourists walking in broad daylight, have dog owners allowing dogs to come out and attack them then it is detrimental to the image of Ipoh.

We understand the need for safety and security but the dogs making runs at people walking in public walkways has breached Section 6 of the Minor Offences Act 1955 where the dog owner is liable for a fine of RM100 and as the dog is allowed to scare or threaten people walking on public walkways (in broad daylight 11am) then there is another breach under Section 8 of the Minor Offences Act 1955.

There has been a tragic case of a dog killing an elderly lady in 1994. For the betterment of Ipoh’s image as a future tourist hub to offset downturn in businesses here (as can be seen by the many homes for sale and rent and many closed shops) it is important to treat others as you want yourself to be treated and not allow tourists to be set upon by dogs for just walking to spend their tourist dollars at the market.

Bear in mind that what happened in broad daylight to a couple who are both over 50s having a stroll to the local market. Also at the Pasir Pinji Market, we both saw wild dogs and cats walking around food products which are unhygienic and breached Food Health Safety Laws in Malaysia.

Mdm Lee Ee Tan (NZ Tourist, Director of Hegemeyer Research Associates)
Mr Chuah Eric (NZ Tourist and former University Lecturer Sociology at Monash University Australia)

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