SHAH ALAM, 3 July: The statement of the Minister of Federal Territories, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor, to punish beggars and those who give money to beggars is seen as a sign of the government’s failure in addressing the issue of poverty.
The Federal Territories PAS Youth Deputy Chief, Nurul Islam Mohammed Yusoff, said that it is also in conflict with the call for Islam to give to charity.
She said that the government should be aware that such punishment is not enough to clean up Kuala Lumpur from beggars.
She said that the statement, which was issued when Muslims are now celebrating the Ramadan month, also shows that Tengku Adnan fails to understand the issue.
“The statement shows the failure of ministers to identify the exact cause of the problem, let alone solve the problem.
“The phenomenon of begging in the capital is actually a manifestation from the failure of the ministry to eradicate urban poverty and the address beggar syndicates,” she said in a press statement.
Islam said that the move, if it is carried out, will not be able to eradicate the problem as a whole.
“The Federal Government needs to find a way to clean up the problem to restore the image of Kuala Lumpur as a city,” he said.
She proposed for a homeless centre to be established in the capital to house beggars and avoid them from roaming, thus taking care of welfare.
She said that beggars can also be given skills training to liberate themselves from the shackles of living in poverty.
“The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the Islamic Religious council should work together to track these people to be helped,” she said.
The statement was in response to Tengku Adnan’s statement yesterday, announcing that moves like this would reduce the begging culture which has tarnished the image of the capital.
BERNAMA reported that Tengku Adnan said that the suit against people who give money to beggars and arresting beggars is being done because the beggars are made up of foreigners.
He said that the move by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to provide free food to the homeless at various locations would invite uncleanliness.