Lending a hand: An enforcement officer rounding up beggars in Kuala Lumpur.
PETALING JAYA: At least four hotspots for beggars and the homeless in Kuala Lumpur will be targeted by the authorities under Ops Qaseh, a large-scale operation to get the homeless into shelters and crack down on begging syndicates.
Ops Qaseh, to be launched next week, is set to begin around Jalan Imbi, Masjid India, Central Market and the National Mosque, said the Welfare Department.
“From our previous operations on the homeless community, we deduced that most of them gathered in these areas.
“We are still in discussions with the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry on a final list of locations to search but the operation will begin during the fasting month,” said a department official.
Ops Qaseh is a three-pronged approach initiated by the department and the ministry. It is aided by the police, Immigration Department, KL City Hall and the National Anti-Drug Agency.
Under the operation, the homeless will be taken to Desa Bina Diri (DBD) shelters-cum-rehabilitation centres for beggars and vagrants under the Welfare Department.
They will be sent to relevant institutions a month later.
The department said it was ready to host the homeless people who would be brought under its care during the operation.
“The Immigration Department will handle those without proper documentation and the anti-drug agency will manage those with substance abuse issues,” said the official.
Most of the homeless are likely to be housed at the Sungai Buloh DBD, which can house 200 people. Other DBD facilities are located in Johor (Mersing), Pahang (Jerantut) and Sabah (Kota Kinabalu).
The halfway homes provide food and lodging, counselling, recreational facilities, healthcare and practical training such as in agriculture, vocational skills and handicraft.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim had said the ministry would work with hypermarkets nationwide to hire the homeless once the one-month assessment at DBDs was up.