MELAKA: An exco member warns over the backlash against the tourism industry in view of the growing number of street beggars taking advantage of generous locals.
Melaka Transport, Works and Public Amenities Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Sofi Wahab said he is compelled to comment over the matter as street beggars are going to the extent of knocking car doors at traffic junctions here to ask for money.
“We are not a Third World nation and we need to do something before the state's image as a tourist destination gets tarnished,” he said in a statement on Monday (April 8).
He said there were a few local beggars but majority of them were foreigners from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.
“I don’t believe they are genuine cases but these gang of beggars were making use of the locals to make easy money,” he said, adding that he had received three messages from concerned locals over the issue.
“I hope the authorities will act against them at once by relocating them to welfare homes or repatriate the foreigners.
"Visually, they looked healthy but are reluctant to look for jobs. They are taking a short cut by begging,” he added.