Saturday, August 15

Homeless deserves a hearing, not just swept away, rep tells KL


KUCHING: There is need for more compassionate ways to deal with homeless people in the country, said PKR Women national vice-chief Voon Shiak Ni.

She condemned the way  the homeless are dealt with in Kuala Lumpur, in the recent news of soup kitchens being told to close in effort to clear the capital of homeless people for a touristic image.

“In addition, the last few days we have seen news about DBKL installing bench dividers as one of the ways to prevent the homeless from sleeping on benches. We may not know and understand the stories behind these people. We do not know their hardships and what drove them to the streets. While some may be taking advantage of the system, others may have their reason. Who would sleep in the streets if they have a shelter?” she asked recently.

Voon believed that there are more compassionate ways to deal with the issue.

“Instead of ‘sweeping them off the streets’, the government should address the problem more positively.”

On a related note, she commended the state Welfare, Women and Family Development Ministry for speedy handling of homeless and poor people in Kuching, citing an example of a vagrant who was spotted sleeping near a local hotel some time ago and which was dealt with professionally by the ministry officials.