In a quiet suburb of Kuala Lampur, one resident's pets have provoked protests from angry neighbours.
In a quiet suburb of Kuala Lampur, one resident's pets have provoked protests from angry neighbours. The pets themselves are quiet enough; it's just that the neighbours objected living next door to 75 snakes.
Mr. Wong Chong, a 66-year-old Chinese, has kept pet snakes since he was six years old. He used them to make medicines and antidotes and later began selling them to Chinese restaurants.
The uproar began when the neighbours discovered that Mr. Song allowed the snakes to roam free in his garden at night. The reptiles were blamed for the disappearance of small animals in the neighbourhood.
A week ago, Mr. Wong was ordered to get rid of 60 snakes which were poisonous. But he still has 20 in his house and has asked the local authorities to be allowed to keep them. He has more snakes at another house which he uses for his medicine and restaurant business.
Mr. and Mrs. Wong and their 15-year-old daughter, Wong Hang Lan, are accustomed now to a python or a viper of a cobra of poisonous see-snake emerging from under the lounge chairs or draping themselves over the kitchen refrigerator. They say they are not scared of them at all.
Mr. Wong regards his medicine as the most important aspect of his snake business. Using techniques handed down from generation to generation, various parts of the snake's body are mixed with special herbs and a special type of Chinese wine. It's then allowed to ferment for three months before bottling.
Mr. Wong is living proof of the effectiveness of his medicine. He says he's been bitten 'thousands of times' by his pets - including a deadly cobra - and it's worked every time. He claims his other medicines will cure bites from dog, scorpions and other insects.
Despite his assurances, the neighbours remain united against Mr. Wong until all the snakes go.