SHAH ALAM: DESPITE numerous operations conducted by the Welfare Department (JKM) and the relevant authorities to take beggars off the streets, these alms seekers however are still at it.
In Shah Alam, armed with a biscuit tin each, two children believed to be Rohingya refugees were seen begging for money at the busy Persiaran Permai traffic light junction in Section 7.
Some of the motorists were seen winding down their windows and handing out RM1 to RM5 note, while some refused to give any.
Moving from one car to another, the children, aged between 8 and 10, just did not care about their own safety.
At night, the two children with another small boy were seen begging at eateries in Jalan Plumbum.
From table to table, they would ask patrons for some donation.
“Please help us. We have not eaten yet or my parents are sick” are among the “magic” phrases used by the children while begging.
Occasionally, two Rohingya children could also be seen begging for alms at the eateries in Section 13.
Approaching the tables separately, the two, however, sport the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) cards.
When told that they are not supposed to ask for alms, one of the boys answered; “We have not eaten yet, and my parents are ill. I need to buy some medicine for them.”
At a junction near Tesco Extra in Section 13, a Rohingya woman was seen asking for alms from one car to another while the traffic light was red.
As the light turned green, the woman would wait by the roadside and when the light turned red again, she would approach the motorists again.
At a traffic light near Sungai Way Free Industrial Zone, another Rohingya woman was spotted selling copies of the Yasin that she carried in a plastic bag.
Recently, Streets reported that these Rohingyas were seen begging for alms in many parts of Kuala Lumpur including Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Masjid India, Masjid Jamek area, especially after Friday’s prayers, as well as at several food outlets in Ampang and Cheras.
While some of the diners and motorists were generous to these alms seekers, some are, however, urging the authorities to take action against them, especially those begging along busy roads.
Motorist Nurul Aida Kamalruddin, 28, urged the authorities to take action for the sake of the beggars’ safety.
“They are not only endangering themselves but also the motorists, thus this should be stopped immediately,” she said.
Sales executive Mohd Shahril Affendy Hussein, 30, said he has come across the alms seekers at traffic junctions many times.
“These beggars would appear out of nowhere and knock on the car window asking for money.
“They might be able to see the cars but not the motorcycles that come through the narrow space between the vehicles.
“They might get themselves injured or even killed. I think urgent action is needed before anything untoward happens.
“Besides, it is not good to see them, especially the children, begging,” he said.
Meanwhile, Shah Alam City Council deputy corporate communications director Shahrin Ahmad said the council, however, has no jurisdiction on the matter.
“There is nothing we can do as the matter is under JKM. However, MBSA is available to lend some help whenever JKM wants to conduct operations to take the beggars off the streets,” he said.
Previous reports show that JKM carries out weekly checks in collaboration with several agencies such as the Immigration Department, Health Department and the National Registration Department at several vagrant hotspots under the Destitute Person’s Act 1977.