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Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (left) handing a mock cheque of RM10,000 to Wangsa Melawati Masjid Al-Muttaqin chairman Yahya Din. Tengku Adnan says a discussion will be held with NGOs on Tuesday on how food is handed to the homeless. — TRP pic by Azrol Ali
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KUALA LUMPUR, June 5:
Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said he would have a meeting with all non-governmental organisations that operate soup kitchens in the city.
He said there is a need to clear the air on wrong perceptions that the NGOs were being prohibited from doing their work.
“We want to work with them and the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is in fact working to acquire a shelter home for the homeless.
“We have identified a few four-storey shophouses in Lorong Haji Taib, which we intend to develop as a one-stop centre for the purpose,” Tengku Adnan told reporters at a Ramadan programme in Wangsa Melati this evening.
He added that a discussion with the NGOs would be held next Tuesday on how to solve the problem amicably, including the way in which food is handed to the homeless.
Tengku Adnan, who had come under fire for stating that these NGOs must move their soup kitchens beyond 2km from the city centre by Monday, said he had no problem with the way they operated.
“I myself am a supporter of soup kitchens and had been contributing food items,” he said, reiterating that he had been misunderstood.
Tengku Adnan said he had also conveyed the matter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who tweeted: “The govt is very concerned about the plight of the homeless and poor. Appreciate the role played by volunteers such as Soup Kitchen.”
Meanwhile, Kechara Soup Kitchen (Kechara) project director Justin Cheah thanked the ministry for initiating the discussion.
“Pending the outcome of the meeting, we will exclude the food kitchen from our activities in helping the homeless,” said Cheah.
He added that Kechara had not received any written notice to move their soup kitchen beyond 2km from the city centre.
Pertiwi Soup Kitchen founder Munirah Abdul Hamid said the it would continue to operate its soup kitchen despite the deadline to move out.
“In fact, we have not been invited for the discussion.
“I hope the ministry will not leave us out,” she said.