SIBU: The proposal to set up a transit home for the homeless and vagabonds in the town is a welcome move to address issues concerning the underprivileged in society.
Former president of Sibu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI), Dr Hii Sui Cheng said the project could help solve serious social and welfare problems as there were quite a lot of “drifters” found sleeping on five-foot ways in the central business district and elsewhere in the town.
“I fully support the establishment of a transit home in the town, known as TTUG Sibu, as decided by Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah,” he said.
In congratulating the minister for the initiative, Dr Hii hoped that the programme would become a model to help the less fortunate.
“Providing a place for the homeless is a humane thing to do in a caring society.
“I propose that the authorities also develop a good programme to teach the homeless to do simple tasks like gardening so as to gradually rehabilitate them,” he said.
On Sept 1, Fatimah said the government had set aside RM546,000 to renovate and transform the Maksak House in Jalan Sanyan into a transit home for the homeless.
The project, when completed by year-end, would be able to accommodate 40 people at a time.
The home, which will be managed by Shan Xin Charity Association of Malaysia Sibu branch and the Sibu Divisional Social Monitoring Coordination Committee (JPPSB), will provide physical and mental health screening services, conduct substance abuse detection and refer the homeless to relevant agencies for further assistance.
The centre will be given an annual grant of RM244,800 as operating expenditure.
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