A group of “beggars” in Kuala Lumpur were exposed for purportedly doing even better than the people who were giving them money, taking Grab rides to and from the city – some of them were even raking in more than RM8,000 (SGD$2,400) per month.
16 of them were arrested by enforcement officers from the Malaysian Social Welfare Department (JKM) during a raid, under the Destitute Persons Act.
Kosmo! reported that the raid was conducted by JKM officers from 6pm to 8pm on the evening of 21 March, with 16 people being arrested comprising of 6 locals and 10 foreigners between the ages of 17 and 55.
About RM9,668 (SGD$2,902) and 255 Saudi Riyal (SGD$90) were seized in the process.
One of the beggars, a 24-year-old woman, said that she makes RM100 (SGD$30) per day and spends about RM40 (SGD$12) of her “earnings” on Grab rides to and from the mosque where she begs at, because she wanted to earn more money and doesn’t like staying at home doing nothing.
Another Sri Lankan man in his 50s made the most amount of money, taking in about RM8,500 (SGD$2,552) per month.
A man who was “blind”, immediately regained his eyesight when he saw the JKM officers, running away when he detected them in the vicinity.
JKM also posted on their Facebook page, urging the public not to give these people money.
JKM’s Facebook post
The Department of Social Welfare (JKM) has implemented an action of taking papas to eradicate embezzlement activities around Kuala Lumpur city.
JKM implemented this action taking on a scheduled basis and this operation was also joined by YB Hajah Aiman Athirah Sabu, Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Society Development and YBrs. Mr. Norazman bin Othman, Director General of Social Welfare (KPKM).
In this operation as many as 16 cases have been identified involving 6 nationals and 10 foreigners including 2 children.
JKM plays a role in the placement of the cases of the papas taken by sending them to the JKM institutions to be given protection and rehabilitation through various programs and activities to prepare these papas to return to the society next able to be independent.
In curbing this rampant extortion activity, JKM calls on the public not to give money to beggars, ensure the letter shown by an individual or organisation to collect donations gets permission from authorities and lodge a complaint to nearby JKM or via calling Line Kasih 15999 or Whatsapp 0192615999 in case of activity begging.