JOHOR BARU: Local and foreign beggars are making good money begging in the streets here but they are painting a bad image of Johor Baru city.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim has called on the local authorities to go hard on street beggars by conducting continuous crackdowns on them.
She noted the success of Kuala Lumpur authorities in clearing the city streets of beggars.
“Johor Baru is an entry point to the country, so the sight of beggars is not only bad for the image of the state but also the country,” Rohani told reporters after the opening of the RM20.2mil Taman Sinaran Harapan Jubli Johor Baru building in Jalan Datin Halimah by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin yesterday.
She was asked to comment on the presence of beggars knocking on car windows, including those of Singapore-registered vehicles, at traffic light junctions here.
Johor Women and Family Affairs Committee chairman Asiah Ariff said foreign beggars in Johor entered the country on a social pass.
She said they came as tourists but decided to beg as they found it lucrative and would only leave for home before their social pass expired.
“After a while, they will come back to beg again,” said Asiah.
Meanwhile, Rohani advised Malaysians from outside Johor looking for jobs in Singapore to only come here after securing a job.
“We do not want to see them sleeping under bridges, on sidewalks or in dark corners of the city when they can’t afford to rent a room.
“Make sure you have received your employment letters from your Singapore bosses before coming here,” she said.
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