Plan to use Sia Boey hall as food distribution hub


Visitors walking past Sia Boey in Penang. – LIM BENG TATT/The Star

There are plans to use the heritage site of Sia Boey in George Town as a place to hand out meals to the homeless.

Penang welfare committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the open hall at Sia Boey Urban Archaeo-logical Park would provide a proper environment for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to feed the homeless.

“Many NGOs and kind individuals have been serving food to the homeless at the Komtar bus station and you can see long queues along the road.

“Sometimes, several NGOs will turn up to deliver meals on the same day, resulting in food wastage. The uneaten food is then dumped on the streets. This is unhygenic,” Phee told Buletin Mutiara.

He said discussions were ongoing with the Penang Island City Council and Penang Development Corporation to seek their approval to use the place.

“NGOs who wish to provide food can register with the state Welfare Department. Mutiara Food Bank will step in on days when none are providing food,” he said.

He urged the homeless who turned up for the food to provide their details for documentation purposes.

“They can also get health screening once the transit centre in Jalan CY Choy is fully operational later this month,” he added.

On the plight of trishaw riders, Phee said the Penang Island City Council had rented two houses for them.

He added that the state was also giving out allowances biweekly to help riders affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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