Post office staff in Malaysia have found 21,000 undelivered letters stored in an apartment that used to be rented out by one of their colleagues.

The Star says postal workers were alerted by a guard in the Kepong apartment complex who thought he had seen 200 letters lying in the flat.

But further investigation revealed the true size of the hoard, which included bank statements, bills and magazines, some going back to 2000.

The worker, who was sacked in March for absenteeism, no longer lived in the flat and all his personal possessions had been moved out.

Police are now looking for the 27-year-old.

Pos Malaysia chief executive Datuk Ikmal Hijaz Hashim said most of the pile was in a good condition, although some of it had been tampered with.

He said the company would now be stepping up efforts to monitor the performance of its 4,468 postmen nationwide