Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tengku Adnan proposes town hall meeting with homeless, vagrants

Following criticisms over the closing down of soup kitchens in Bukit Bintang, the Federal Territories Ministry now wants to meet the homeless in a town hall meeting.

Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said in his Facebook on Tuesday that the dialogue, yet to be scheduled, would allow the homeless to voice their complaints so that the government can help improve their standard of living.

The Ministry held talks with 12 relevant non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to discuss issues related to the homeless and beggars in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday in an attempt to smoothen the government’s controversial crackdown against the homeless.

"The meeting today reached a consensus between ministries, government agencies and NGOs involved to jointly develop short-term and long-term strategies to help resolve the issue of homeless people and beggars in Kuala Lumpur that has lasted so long," said Tengku Adnan.

He explained that NGOs could still continue to distribute food to the homeless beyond the 2km radius of Lot 10 in Bukit Bintang.

"It is agreed that a special committee involving the government agencies and NGOs will be set up to fine-tune the process of food distribution to the homeless and to discuss the best way to help them," said Tengku Adnan

Earlier, Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Adnan Md Ikshan, who chaired the meeting with the NGOs, told reporters that the ban on soup kitchens operating within a 2km radius of Lot 10 will only be enforced after Hari Raya.

Last Thursday, Tengku Adnan came under fire after he announced that soup kitchens would no longer be allowed to operate within a 2km radius of Lot 10 because they allegedly encouraged people to remain homeless and unemployed.

A day later, Tengku Adnan clarified his statement and said the ministry and DBKL have measures in place to ensure the homeless are taken care of.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that the Government would hold discussions with soup kitchens to reach an amicable outcome for all affected parties.

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