KOTA KINABALU: Sabah's perennial issue on solutions for undocumented street children is likely to take a step forward in overcoming the decades-old problem.
A special shelter to provide them with basic skills in the city here would be ready soon as part of efforts to resolve the street children problem in the state, Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Abidin Madingkir (pic) said.
He said the Public Works Department has already completed renovation work for the shelter.
"Now, we have to put in the furniture and other fixtures before the shelter begins operating," he told reporters after launching the World School Milk Day programme here on Tuesday (Jan 31).
He said that the stateless children, who are currently roaming the streets and begging, would have basic living skills training for three months at the temporary shelter.
"The living skills programme will cover self-care, community living, and spiritual learning.
"We hope they can lead a normal life without having to beg on the streets after they leave the shelter," Abidin said.
He said that the Kota Kinabalu shelter was a pilot project and would be adopted in other districts like Sandakan, Tawau and Lahad Datu.
He said that local authorities will work to focus on street children who were seen begging in and around the city as well along traffic light intersections.
Previously, he said Kota Kinabalu City Hall had acted against street kids by rounding them up and warning them before being released as they were not involved in any crime.
"We believe these children need guidance," he said.
The stateless street children cannot be placed at government facilities for children as it is for Malaysians.
In November last year, the state government allocated RM280,000 to renovate an unused government house to be made a temporary shelter for stateless children.