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PUBLISHED: Jun 11, 2014 9:13pm

‘Jobs available for homeless, but they choose to beg and wait for free food’

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By:
Zalikha Ameera

Jobs will be made available to the homeless to empower them to be independent, elevate their social standing and improve their economy.

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 11:

Some 40,000 jobs will be made available to the homeless to ensure that they were no longer isolated from society.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim said most of the jobs did not require a high set of skills.

“Some of it is arranging stock, arranging trolleys and sweeping. These do not require much skill.

“So, there is no longer a reason for the homeless to go begging on the streets.

“We will ensure that each homeless person is employed.

“The main reason we are doing this is to empower them to be independent, elevate their social standing and improve their economy,” she said at a press conference after visiting the national rehabilitation centre under the Welfare Department in Sungai Buloh today.

Rohani also told reporters that she wanted to clarify her previous statement which had been misunderstood by the public.

Prior to this, Rohani had said that the effort put forth by several non-governmental organisations (NGO) to feed the homeless was akin to “inviting” more to take to the streets.

“Many misunderstood me. It is not that I do not want these NGOs to help the homeless, but I would rather that the help be channelled properly.

“In fact, I appreciate the efforts that have been made in feeding the homeless.

“But we do not realise that many will take advantage of these kind-hearted NGOs and pretend to be homeless in order to get the food provided.

“Some of them are able to work, but choose not to because they know there are parties willing to feed them,” Rohani said.

According to her, there were also those who were “homeless” although they had homes. They chose to be on the streets as they were more comfortable not working and just waited for help to be given to them.

“People like these will mar the beauty of Kuala Lumpur.

“Foreigners will look down on us and assume that the plight of the homeless in our country is being overlooked.

“They don’t know that we provide many rehabilitation centres for the homeless to build their skill sets, for example, sewing.”

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