KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — KL City Hall (DBKL) is fair in wanting to rid the city’s streets of beggars and soup kitchens as their presence reflects poorly on the country’s image, Welfare Department director-general Datuk Norani Mohd Hashim said.
According to Berita Harian, Norani said the act of handing out food encourages homelessness.
“Therefore, the Welfare Department is supportive of the order to prohibit soup kitchens from distributing meals in the capital city,” she was quoted saying in the Malay daily.
Yesterday, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said soup kitchens will be fined if they do not shift out of the capital city by Monday.
He added that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are prohibited from feeding the homeless within a 2km-radius around shopping mall Lot 10 in the Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle business hub.
Tengku Adnan labelled the homeless a “lazy” lot who have become complacent, adding that soup kitchens were dirty, drawing rodents that spread diseases like Leptospirosis, and dengue.
He further added that fines would be imposed on those who give aid to beggars.
The government will launch a campaign code-named “Ops Qaseh” by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry on Monday to get the homeless off the streets.
Following the announcement by Tengku Adnan, its minister Datuk Sri Rohani Abdul Karim said the ministry is in talks with the City Hall on curbing the social problem.
“The ministry is committed to assisting the unfortunate and we intend to free the nation of beggars and the homeless,” said Rohani.
“We are taking steps to reduce the number of homeless people and beggars, especially children, by placing them in welfare homes,” she said to Berita Harian.