Leave city centre by Monday or face the penalty, Tengku Adnan tells soup kitchens

Bekas mufti Perlis tuntut Kuala Lumpur bersihkan pusat hiburan

Soup kitchens in Kuala Lumpur have until Monday to relocate out of the city centre if they do not want to be fined by City Hall, Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said today.

He said Putrajaya was determined to clear the homeless from the city and had restricted programmes by non-governmental organisations to feed them.

“The image of my city is very bad. If I don’t do this sort of thing, society won’t be disciplined,” he told a new conference here today.

On Wednesday, Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor had said that the ministry would impose fines and other penalties on the givers of alms and beggars.

He had said this was necessary to reduce the begging culture that tarnished the image of the city.

Tengku Adnan said the decision was taken after a meeting with Kuala Lumpur City Hall and other relevant agencies recently where hygiene issues and concerns for homeless people were among the matters discussed.

"NGOs providing free food to the homeless must also fix a location to do so and not distribute the food all over the place," he said.

The decision to have the soup kitchens relocated has drawn flak from those carrying out feeding programmes in the city.

A group calling itself "Dapur Jalanan" (Street Kitchen) had described Tengku Adnan ‘s remarks as reflecting a poor understanding of the plight of the city’s lower income group.

The group urged Putrajaya to halt all operations to round up the homeless, describing it as inhumane.

Apart from Dapur Jalanan, other prominent soup kitchens feeding the homeless at different locations in the city are Pertiwi Soup Kitchen, Kechara Soup Kitchen, The Soup Kitchen and The Assumption Soup Kitchen.

Tengku Adnan maintained that NGOs feeding the homeless left their litter and creating an image problem in the city.

"NGOs providing free food to the homeless must also fix a location to do so and not distribute the food all over the place," he said.

Tengku Adnan said Putrajaya had tried to help the homeless by creating jobs for them.

“We give them jobs but they don’t want as it is easy to get food as these street kitchens are feeding them,” he said.

He said the street kitchens could continue but they have to do it outside the city centre.

He added the ministry has banned any activity to feed the homeless for a 2km-radius around the Lot 10 shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur. – July 3, 2014.

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