KUALA LUMPUR: Soup kitchen operators will not stop what they have been doing despite warnings from Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor that anyone giving away food to the homeless in the city would be fined.
Munira Abdul Hamid of Pertiwi Soup Kitchen said the good deeds will be continued as they felt there was nothing wrong with what they had been doing since March 2010.
"I think the minister was referring to the foreign beggars. The ones we are helping are locals. Ramadan is the month for us to give and yet he is telling us not to do good," said the 64-year old woman.
She said the volunteers clean up after that and the places are normally cleaner than what it was before.
Munira said they will continue to help the homeless four times a week, despite what the Tengku Adnan had said.
Another operator, known as Arian Plaso, said he will continue to help the needy. "We will not be cowed by the statement."
Arian who is an architect said he not only gave food to the homeless but try to understand their plight.
"Some of them are shy. But as time goes by, I make friends with them and try to help them get jobs.
"There are also small children among them.
Tengku Adnan said today soup kitchens have been instructed to move out of the city centre by Monday as part of the ministry's efforts to clean up the streets of Kuala Lumpur.
He said soup kitchens will not be allowed to distribute food to the homeless in a 2km-radius from Lot 10 shopping mall in Bukit Bintang.
"I have to be harsh," said Tengku Adnan, adding that this was necessary as the city's image was suffering.
Tengku Adnan said that the NGOs caught distributing food inside the 2km radius would be fined.