Friday, 4 July 2014

While I support Tengku Adnan's goal of eliminating beggars and the homeless in KL, I disagree with his harshness and his seemingly tactless handling. There are many official channels, homes and other charities to help these people and enough jobs around (that's why we got millions of economic immigrants here).

If I were him, I would work with the NGOs by stationing the officers from the various departments with the soup kitchen to help register and talk to those who come. I would even invite the NGOs to help with those official govt centers and welfare agencies.

Remember also that the Soup Kitchens are NOT forced out of KL or forced to close down entirely. Don't be spun!

The directive applies only to a 2km radius from Lot 10 and not all of KL. Having the soup kitchen away from this area will also ensure dozens of homeless people won't converge around this location.

Remember that the location is Malaysia's golden triangle of shopping and tourists go there in the millions.

Tourists have the right not to be continually harassed by beggars.

Shopkeepers there have the rights not to have their customers being harassed by beggars.

The country of Malaysia and the city of KL also have the right to project the right image as a progressive, modern and clean city.

If anyone had ever had food along Jalan Alor recently and sat for an hour, you will understand how serious the problem have become now.

If the primary goal of the soup kitchen is to feed the homeless and the homeless going there is to get fed then it does not necessarily have to be in the Golden Triangle area.

KL is hardly alone in having vagrancy laws. In the USA, they used to have these laws and some states still do but now it is seldom used as the police there rather detain the homeless there under the vague "loitering and creating a public nuisance" laws.

There are simply much better and more permanently-lasting ways to help address this problem of beggars and the homeless rather than continually providing hand-outs and free food and hence pro-longing and perhaps even encouraging this problem.

If I were Tengku Adnan, I would list down all the various agencies, shelters and homes that are ready and willing to assist the beggars and homeless and clearly list down their location.

Lim Sian See


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