March 23, 2022
KUALA LUMPUR – Almost 20% of homeless people rescued in Kuala Lumpur end up back on the streets again, some the very next day, says Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias.
The Deputy Federal Territories Minister said this when replying to a question by Datin Dr Tan Yee Kew (PH-Wangsa Maju) in Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (March 22).
He cited an example where he participated in a recent operation near Bangkok Bank in Kuala Lumpur where several homeless people were rescued and sent to shelter at transit homes in the city.
“Despite being placed at the transit shelter at the Pahang roundabout, they went missing the very next day and I saw them near the Bangkok Bank again that same night,” he said.
He did not deny a suggestion by Steven Choong Shiau Yoon (IND-Tebrau) that some of the homeless people return to living off the streets as they prefer to get free handouts offered by volunteers from non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Based on current records, Jalaluddin said that there were between 700 and 900 homeless people living off the streets in Kuala Lumpur.
At present, he said those rescued off the streets are temporarily sheltered free of charge and provided meals at several transit homes in the city.
He added that the homeless who are rescued are provided with skills training to allow them to gain employment in the public and private sectors.
Meanwhile, Jalaluddin announced that NGOs, including those based outside Kuala Lumpur, were welcomed to offer free food to the homeless during the coming Ramadan fasting month.
He said that these groups only have to notify Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) of their activities to ensure that there is no wastage of food when distributed to the homeless.
He added this was also to ensure that cleanliness and safety are maintained when free food is handed out.