Beggars are a problem anywhere in the world. The bigger problem is distinguishing between the genuine beggars and those who are professionals. Giving alms and helping the needy is part of human nature and I can bet most say to themselves, “One day it could be me.” Which is why members of the public are angered by Adnan Mansor’s recent statements made regarding the homeless and those who feed them; and they include I.
I could not care less who Adnan Mansor is. I am one who does not go around polishing politicians’ balls no matter what party the politician concerned represents. While I acknowledge that beggars, be they unprofessional or otherwise, are a problem, this problem have existed for as long as I have been breathing.
In his statement above, he said that he would take the money alms-giver give to beggars and re-distribute to those who actually need the money. I hope he has the mechanism and manpower to do this as his manpower would only be those in the Kuala Lumpur City Council (DBKL). I think the Zakat collection offices as well as the Welfare Department has been doing this for donkey years and still fail. We still find the genuine poor living in sorry conditions yet government officials and party office-holders receive alms from the Pusat Pungutan Zakat as well as ownership of several units of the Perumahan Rakyat Termiskin. If Adnan Mansor wants to talk about genuine and professional beggars, please take a swipe at those people too!
Yes, both Mecca and Madinah are swamped with beggars. In fact, in 2013, there were 24,000 beggars roaming on the streets near mosques in the whole of Saudi Arabia. In the words of The Peninsula Times dated 24 June 2014:
“Saudi Arabia had 24,000 beggars roaming the streets. Yes, 24,000 people standing outside mosques asking for handout using a variety of tricks to get what they want. Starting with claiming injuries or an amputated limb even with documents proving their claims, but God only knows they’re real or not.”
Adnan Mansor may think that it is best to quote the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in its fight against beggars and ask how can it be unIslamic to get rid of them, be advised that the Shoura Council of the KSA disagreed with the KSA government’s way of handling the beggars.
“Shoura Council members criticized the on-going fight against beggars, because the conditions of poverty are the result of a failure of government policies.”
In this sense, our government is also at fault because despite the zakat collection and establishment of a welfare department, we have failed to provide red-tapeless methods to assist the needy, we still have poor Malaysians surviving from day-to-day on morsels, while the Zakat establishments continue to report surplus and profit. How can these establishments report profits when they are supposed to be giving out all the money to those in need instead? Despite the millions collected to alleviate poverty, we still have people of want. To whom and how have the funds been distributed begs the question here. And then we have the religious authorities cry foul when Muslim poor are receiving aid from Christian-backed charity organisations. Why?
How, in the name of sanity, does Adnan Mansor plan to assist these people? He even spoke about giving them jobs. Please lay your cards on the table before you utter nonsense that even your own boss have reservations about your moves (as evident in the now-deleted tweet):
Talk about the soup kitchens, Adnan mentioned that the sight of the homeless bodies queueing up for food at soup kitchens would tarnish the image of Kuala Lumpur, HIS city, so much so that he has ordered operators of soup kitchens to move out or prepare to be fined.
May I remind Adnan that London was declared the most visited city of 2013, with 16 million visitors. I am pretty sure in his many trips there, as I have in my not-so-many trips there, have seen homeless bodies around Queensway, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street – all tourist spots, let alone in places like Edgware, Clapham etc. There are 1,600 private homes operated to provide shelter for the homeless, and even then 300 homeless bodies sleep with the sky as their roof on a nightly basis.
Yes, there are professional beggars, such as the children from “Tahfizs” and privately-operated religious orphanages, and also people overstaying their tourist visa, as covered previously by both my blog as well as Hazrey‘s. The religious authorities as well as relevant government organisations never acted upon these fake religious institutions. And for the imported beggars who can afford stays at three-star hotels, don’t you see how the Immigration Department has failed dismally in putting a stop to this? And now Adnan thinks he single-handedly can put a stop to this?
Now stop dictating what we can or cannot do with our money. It is my right to choose to whom should I hand my money out to. They can be genuine, or they can be those people who are the consequence of government officials who swore to do their job properly, but do the exact opposite! This is where the saying “when the giving stops, the begging will too” does not hold water.
Your intention may be good, Adnan Mansor, but your method and approach are wrong!