Ramadan an opportunity for foreign beggars?

The number of beggars seem to grow during the holy month.

21 Mar 2024 10:01am
Foreign beggar seen at Ramadan bazaar in Jalan Raja Alang, Kampong Baru, recently.
Foreign beggar seen at Ramadan bazaar in Jalan Raja Alang, Kampong Baru, recently.

SHAH ALAM – Crowded areas around Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Masjid India, and Jalan Raja Alang, Kampong Baru are like 'easy money pits' for foreign beggars during Ramadan.

Sinar’s survey found that most of the beggars were among the Rohingyas, who usually brought children as a way to gain sympathy from the community.

There was also a group of visually impaired beggars involving Indonesians who masked as tissue sellers.

A survey on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman found that some of them were without arms but aggressively approached people to ask for money and sell tissues at eateries.

Although their presence was seasonal, they seemed to have grown during Ramadan, especially in the bazaars in the Klang Valley.

In Chow Kit, some foreign beggars sit passively in one place, such as on the sidewalk, while waiting for the courtesy of the pedestrians walking around.

Based on Sinar’s observations, the average beggar at the area can afford to live comfortably despite since they were seen to have luxurious conveniences such as a mobile phone.

Warung Makan Sahabat founder Harun Abu Bakar, better known as Cikgu Jinggo, the number of foreign beggars in Chow Kit could not be determined, as sometimes there were many of them while other times, lesser were seen.

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"Usually foreign beggars in Chow Kit are Bangladeshis, there is no denying that at certain times their number is quite large.

"However, there is no reason for us not to share our blessings with them during Ramadan when we provide free food for them to break their fast.

"This blessing is shared in hopes that it opens more doors for blessings for us. That's why we don't hesitate to distribute free food, including to foreign beggars," he said.

Last Sunday, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the generosity of Malaysians was the main reason for the increase in foreign beggars in some major cities in the country during Ramadan, and they even consider Malaysia as a foundation for their upcoming blessings.

She said various efforts had been made, but the problem persisted since many foreigners never stopped entering the country to become beggars.

Meanwhile, Welfare Department’s statistics showed a total of 380 foreign beggars were arrested in the capital from January to August last year, compared to only 98 in 2022.

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