JOHOR BARU: While most Malaysians are staying at home since the movement control order (MCO) was imposed on March 18, the homeless are left with no choice but to remain outdoors and hope for the best.
A check around Johor Baru city centre found that quite a number of homeless people were still sleeping along walkways of shops and other public places.
A homeless man at Jalan Ah Fook, who only wanted to be know as Tan, 63, said that it was difficult for him to sleep at night as he was afraid enforcement officers would come and chase him away.
“I normally do odd jobs to earn some money to buy food but since the MCO was imposed, there is no work for me, ” he said, adding that he had no money to even buy food now.
Ahmad, 46, is another homeless man facing the same plight.
He said he has been homeless for the past five years.
“I am concerned about my health but I have no other choice. I do not have a home to stay in to begin with, ” he said.
Ahmad, however, said that he was thankful that despite the situation, a few people were still donating food to help the homeless in town.
“They are delivering food to us even at times like this and we are grateful to them, ” he said.
Among those who have been going around town to give the homeless food was electrical contractor Lim Thow Siang, 48, who prepared the packs with his friends.
“We give out food as well as mineral water, bread and biscuits to the homeless.
“We will be going around the city again to provide more food to those who need it, ” he said.
Meanwhile, Yayasan Suria Johor Baru founder James Ho, along with his friend Kelvin Koh have also been going around town to collect donated items from well-wishers and deliver them to those in need.
Ho and Koh, who are both in their 60s, start their day at about 9am and go out to give the collected items to those identified.
“Our day will typically end at about 7pm. Besides the homeless, we also provide food to the jobless, those who cannot leave their homes without assistance as well as refugees and families from the low-income group, ” said Ho.
Both of them said the help was made possible thanks to the generous public.
“Even the van we use to go about was lent to us by a friend, ” said Ho.
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