Rounding up beggars in Selangor

A mother and daughter seen begging near a busy road. However, some beggars are part of a syndicate. — filepic

SELANGOR authorities have rescued 2,326 beggars until October this year and the numbers are not getting any less.

Selangor Social Welfare Department (JKM) statistics showed that 1,346 foreign beggars and 980 Malaysians were detained in the operations carried out since 2013.

Some of them also bring along their infants or toddlers to beg in Section 7 and Batu 3 in Shah Alam, Ampang and Klang.

These areas have been identified as hotspots for beggars.

A campaign to prevent the begging activity was held by the State Health, Welfare, Women and Family Development Committee at Laman Seni 7 to spread public awareness on preventing begging syndicates from exploiting vulnerable victims.

State JKM director Mohammad Hanafi Maulud said under the Destitute Persons Act 1977 (Act 183), no one can ask for donations without legal documents from the state police chief.

The Bijak Membantu, Elak Tertipu (Be Wise To Help, Avoid Being Cheated) campaign was aimed at educating fellow Malaysians to channel their kindness to the people in need and ways to detect scams.

Hanafi added that Selangor became one of the preferred locations for syndicates to operate.

“Often Malaysians give without any questions asked.

“Back in the 1980s, I caught a foreign beggar and after a thorough check, we found out that he had RM18,000 in his bank account, can you imagine?

The public can help the authorities by not giving money to beggars and to report suspicious ones by calling 15999 (Talian Kasih).

State Health, Welfare, Women and Family Affairs Committee chairman Dr Daroyah Alwi advised people to be smart when donating as some beggars were drug addicts who begged to fulfil their addiction.

She advised those who would like to give alms to contact the Welfare Department, so that their donations would be channelled to deserving folk.

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