Kuala Lumpur – A volunteer at a soup kitchen in the city centre admitted that she was initially confused by the government’s move to stop non-governmental organisations (NGO) from feeding the homeless.
Only wanting to be identified as Nani, she said at first she felt disheartened with the statement made by Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
The minister had warned NGOs to move out of the city centre if they did not want to face action by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
“I think this is not right because as human beings, we must have compassion. If possible, the government should find ways to combat the issue of homelessness in the city first.
“If you want to ‘clean up’ KL, you must go to the root of the problem. Help these homeless people first — give them jobs, a place to stay,” she said to The Rakyat Post.
Nani was met while helping to feed the homeless at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, here, recently.
However, she also said she understood the government’s true intentions after finding out about one-stop centres that would be set up where NGOs and volunteers could continue to help the homeless.
She added the suggestion was a good one and that she would continue with commitment as a volunteer.
“I think the concept of Anjung Singgah is good. If the government can’t provide jobs for the homeless, we will help in whatever way we can. We can share their sorrows.”
Earlier Tengku Adnan had announced the setting up of a one-stop centre to help the homeless at Lorong Haji Taib.
On her experience, Nani said the awareness to help the homeless came about when she felt sad looking at how they were living on the streets.
Soon after, she decided to cook food for them, together with her mother and sibling.
Because of time constraints, Nani said she could only offer help on weekends, adding that the cost involved to cook the food at home was minimal, around RM300 to RM400.
“We give them rice and drinks. Sometimes it’s nasi campur, sometimes it’s nasi goreng (fried rice). But as is always the case, the food we prepare is never enough,” Nani said, adding that she had been doing this for two months now.