KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 — Soup kitchens will be fined if they do not shift out of the capital city by Monday, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said today as the government seeks to clean up its streets of the homeless.
The Federal Territories minister said he has instituted a 2km-radius around shopping mall Lot 10 in the Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle business hub, where non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are prohibited from feeding the homeless.
“The image of my city is very bad,” Tengku Adnan told a press conference here.
“If I don’t do this sort of thing, society won’t be disciplined,” he added, when asked if he was being too harsh.
The minister also called the homeless “lazy”, saying that some work only for a couple of days before quitting their jobs.
“We found them work. They’re so lazy. After two days go and work, they run away. Then when we find out, they say it’s easy to find food in other places. That’s the problem,” said Tengku Adnan.
He claimed that soup kitchens were dirty, drawing rodents that spread diseases like Leptospirosis, and dengue.
“Begging is one thing. We got HIV problem, AIDS problem, because of drug addicts. All sorts of things,” said Tengku Adnan, who is also the Umno secretary-general.
The minister added that the government has plans to build a shelter for the homeless, but claimed that street people would become “complacent” and want to stay there “all the time”.
He said if the homeless wanted to get food, they could go to temples and mosques outside Kuala Lumpur.
Tengku Adnan further said that fines would be imposed on those who give to beggars.
“People call me un-Islamic, but the way of charity is not on the streets,” he said.
The government will launch Monday a move codenamed Ops Qaseh by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry on Monday to get the homeless off the streets.
According to statistics sent by the Women’s Ministry to The Malay Mail Online, there were 1,646 homeless people throughout Malaysia as of 2010, with 1,387 homeless in Kuala Lumpur; 150 in Georgetown, Penang; 99 in Johor Baru, Johor; and 10 in Kuching, Sarawak.
The statistics show that the majority of beggars are locals, not foreigners.
The number of destitute people or beggars dropped from 1,434 in 2010 to 1,048 last year.