KUALA LUMPUR, 19 Oct 2016:

The public’s lackadaisical attitude towards the begging menace has contributed to the increasing beggar population, especially in the federal capital.

Welfare Department Legislation and Enforcement Division director Roslan Baba said the generous attitude of the Malaysian public who are willing to donate, has made the country a beggars’ haven.

“Despite all the efforts and enforcement activities carried out by government agencies, it is difficult to combat the beggar issue.

“People should lodge a report when they see these beggars in the streets as they are an eyesore and they give a negative image of our country.”

Commenting on claims that a beggars’ syndicate was raking in millions of ringgit from the public, Roslan said the department had ‘rescued’ about 900 beggars comprising locals and foreigners since the beginning of the year until September.

Roslan said the foreign beggars detained would be handed over to the Immigration Department for further action, while local beggars would be sent to the ‘Desa Bina Diri’ Rehabilitation Centre or certain departments to undergo rehabilitation as well as physical and mental health checks.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Amar Singh Ishar Singh said police have not so far received any reports on the so-called beggars’ syndicate or the king-pin claimed to have been operating in Kuala Lumpur for some time.

Checks by Bernama revealed city folks too were getting tired of the beggars syndicate and their modus operandi in capitalising on the people’s generosity.

“It is our kind-heartedness that has made the beggars more wealthy than us as we remain mere wage earners, so we must cooperate with the authorities to curb their activities ” said lecturer Nawawi Nordin, 29.

He said the public’s mentality towards beggars should be changed and Malaysians should not be encouraging begging if it wants to achieve first-class nation status.

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