KLANG: The number of foreign beggars rounded up in operations statewide was three times higher than the locals.
Selangor Welfare Department deputy director Wan Zarina Wan Salleh said that as of August, 130 foreign beggars were taken off the streets during the department’s regular operations throughout the state.
“Compared to the 41 local beggars who were rescued, foreign beggars number more than three times the locals.
“Of the foreign beggars rounded up, 56 were children. As for the locals, there were 12 children,” she told the press after launching the state level anti-beggars campaign called "Bijak Memberi Elak Tertipu" to educate the public to donate through proper channels and not to be cheated.
Wan Zarina said Myanmar nationals made up the most foreign beggars with 87, followed by Cambodians (31) and Thais (30).
She also noted that Malaysians in general give RM5 in average for each beggar when approached, and this act has driven many beggars to continue soliciting for cash.
“Generous Malaysians give beggars the opportunity to thrive on their kindness.
“They may be seeking alms for a living on the streets, but there are beggars who get hundreds of ringgit a day, making more money than the givers.
“We urge the public to be vigilant when giving, and they should always give via proper channels in order to help those who are really in need,” she said.
Department enforcement director Mohd Hidzir Jamhuri said festivals such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Haji are “peak seasons” when beggars come out in lage numbers.
“As of August, a total of 418 operations have been conducted throughout Selangor to eradicate begging activities," he said, adding that the people can report cases of begging to the department via the Talian Kasih 15999 hotline.
The public can also check with the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) or the police on organisations or groups that are permitted to collect donations from the people, he said.
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