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KUALA LUMPUR, July 30:

Soup kitchen Reach Out Kuala Lumpur questioned the Federal Territories Ministry for excluding the non-governmental organisation (NGO) in a series of meetings to tackle the homeless issue.

Its founder and president, Peter Nicoll, said the meetings, which were held by Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor to discuss short-term and long-term solutions to the homeless issue, saw 12 NGOs invited, with Reach Out KL, one of the biggest soup kitchens in the city, being left out.

“I believe Kechara Soup Kitchen was invited and Pertiwi found a way to go, but we were not invited,” Nicoll toldThe Rakyat Post.

However, despite lack of contact from the ministry, the NGO’s position on the homeless issue remains the same.

“We will continue the work that we have been doing every day for those in need”.

Nicoll urged the ministry to have a positive agenda in resolving the issue and commended it for retracting its threat to implement an illegal exclusion zone.

Early this month, Tengku Adnan drew flak from the public after proposing a 2km radius ban from Lot 10 here as a short term solution in resolving the homeless issue.

The public pressure then led the ministry to postpone the ban and make a decision after the Hari Raya festivities, with meetings set up with NGOs in a bid to help the soup kitchens find proper locations to distribute food.

“I think the sheer amount of public pressure has helped”.

Eight years since the NGO’s formal inception, Reach Out KL is among the four largest soup kitchens within the city, after Kechara Soup Kitchen, Dapur Jalanan KL and Pertiwi Soup Kitchen.

When asked if Reach Out KL would be urging the ministry to allow the NGO to join the discussions, Nicoll said it was up to the ministry to decide.

Federal Territories ministry representatives could not be reached for a comment.

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