Thursday, July 3, 2014

Soup kitchens to defy minister, vow to continue feeding homeless in KL

Soup kitchens to defy minister, vow to continue feeding homeless in KL

Soup kitchens have joined arms in standing up to the order by the Federal Territories minister Tengku Adnan that soup kitchens have to move out of central KL from next week. - AFP pic, July 3, 2014.Soup kitchens have joined arms in standing up to the order by the Federal Territories minister Tengku Adnan that soup kitchens have to move out of central KL from next week. - AFP pic, July 3, 2014.Kuala Lumpur soup kitchens today vowed to continue their programmes to feed the homeless despite facing the threat of penalties by City Hall, in a drive to present a better image of Malaysia's capital city.
They said they ran a clean operation and always cleaned up after their food is distributed to the poor.
They said the Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s reason for the ban is ridiculous and one reminded him that its operation was launched by his predecessor Datuk Raja Nong Chik.
Tengku Adnan had today said soup kitchens in the city would be fined if they do not move out of Kuala Lumpur by Monday.
He said this was in line with Putrajaya’s plan to remove the homeless from Kuala Lumpur’s streets and said that NGOs were prohibited from feeding the homeless within a 2km-radius around the city centre’s iconic Lot 10 shopping complex.
Pertiwi Soup Kitchen founder Munirah Abdul Hamid said Tengku Adnan appeared to misunderstand their work.
She said they had been vocal in pointing out the difference between the homeless and the beggars as the latter may be controlled by syndicate groups.
“Tengku Adnan has confused the two. The ones that we feed are people trying to get by every day.”
Munirah said they had driven the same point to the Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim, during a recent meeting.
“What is wrong with making life better for the homeless? Isn't it very un-Islamic of him to say such things during the month of Ramadan?” she asked.
Commenting on the irony of the current situation, she added that Pertiwi Soup Kitchen was launched by former Minister of Federal Territories Datuk Raja Nong Chik on March 11, 2010.
“So how can he (Tengku Adnan) suddenly say that feeding the homeless is illegal?”
Nasi Lemak Project volunteer Mastura Mohd Rashid said their organisation will not comply.
She added that sometimes, City Hall officials will chase them from the distribution area, while some others will advise against the feeding because they believe that it is a cause to laziness amongst homeless and it is also a waste of money.
“It’s rather silly of him to behave like this. He shouldn’t make a mockery of himself, it’s embarrassing,” she also said that, as a minister, his responsibility is to understand and get closer to the unfortunate and downtrodden.
Nasi Lemak Project are students from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) who volunteer in areas around Brickfields, Ampang and Chow Kit on Fridays and Sundays.
A founder member of Need to Feed the Needy Sara Sukor, 33, said that rather than criticise their work, Tengku Adnan should work with us.
She added that not all whom they feed are homeless as most of them work odd jobs for a minimum wage – restaurants that pay only RM10 to RM15 a day for an 18-hour shift.
"This is grossly insufficient for them to survive, especially when they have children, while some even rent a place for RM25 a day as they can’t afford a house.
“By giving out food to them, it lessens their burden. We also give our milk formulas for children under three," she said, adding that where else could the homeless go for relief.
In announcing the ban, Tengku Adnan claimed that soup kitchens were dirty, drawing rodents that spread diseases like Leptospirosis, and dengue.
To this Pertiwi’s Munirah said: “We clean up after ourselves as well as other places around the area after each round. In fact, I have also challenged the Mayor many times to join me for our food distribution.
Nasi Lemak project’s Mastura Mohd Rashid said they were particular about hygiene and cleaned up after distributing food on their rounds.
"We shop for food at around 12 in the afternoon and we start cooking at 2pm all the way until 6pm. We also take the trouble to separate each type of food as some easily go bad,” She added that to further maintain the freshness of the food, they also reduce the use of coconut milk,” she said.
Tengku Adnan said the homeless could go to temples and mosques outside Kuala Lumpur if they wished to get food, adding that those who donate to beggars in the capital city would also

What does Tengku Adnan know about hardships and going hungry?
Probably never went hungry before.
Born with a silver spoon.
The govt should be feeding these people and not NGOs, the bloody shame of it all!
He should tackle crime and keep KL safe for tourists instead of hounding the poor and homeless.
Everywhere in the world there are homeless so why try to make KL so exquisite.
Vote for Umno/BN will make more people poor and homeless especially with the coming GST, TNB increased tariffs,  etc.
Only them and their cronies will reap the benefits.

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