The presence of homeless people in the city shows some of the government policies are not working out well and it is time for a review of BN's policies.
By Stephen Ng
All hell broke loose when Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor made a statement to chase out the homeless in the city; now his ministry is spinning another story – that it is providing a solution!
How ironic that this is not coming out from Tengku Adnan’s own mouth, but from his ministry officials.
This is what makes every city folk fume with the minister’s latest fiasco, synonymous of the party which he represents. It makes me wonder if anything good can come out of Umno these days.
From bashing the non-Muslim community with the “Allah ban” and cow head incident, to chasing out the homeless and banning soup kitchens from the Kuala Lumpur city centre, Umno ministers appear to be involved in one controversy after another.
These ministers are the ones to blame for Barisan Nasional’s overall poor performance in the past two general elections.
I have always wondered why Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is unable to find anyone better to fill Cabinet positions.
There are people such as Saifuddin Abdullah who should have replaced ministers like Tengku Adnan or Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Instead, Najib continues to appoint “clowns” to helm important ministries and when they continue to make blunders, he says nothing to reprimand them.
I guess it is because he, too, has made blunders with his “kangkung” and later RM1 per chicken remarks.
About two weeks ago, Zahid raised the ire of the people by suggesting that Seri Delima state assemblyman RSN Rayer deserved it, when a cow head was placed in front of his house.
Then, another Umno minister, Ahmad Shabery Cheek, said artistes from Indonesia and Malaysia will be invited to perform in Konsert Uniti during the Merdeka celebrations.
Now, Tengku Adnan has joined the fray by asking Kuala Lumpur City Hall enforcement officers to chase out both beggars and soup kitchens in the city.
Reflection of government’s failure
The presence of the homeless in any city is a reflection of the government’s failure to provide social welfare for the poor and homeless.
It also shows the lack of police intervention in fighting the syndicates that prey on the innocent people who are often forced to beg.
There is also a lack of social and psychological support and other physical infrastructure to cater to the needs of the homeless.
Umno prides itself in championing the New Economic Policy, yet many of the street people in Kuala Lumpur are Malays who have been marginalised by the elites themselves.
It is good that there are also Muslims involved in the soup kitchens. In the past, when only the Christian groups were dishing out food to street people, the volunteers would have run the risk of being accused of trying to proselytise hungry Muslims.
The presence of homeless people in the city shows some of our government policies are not working well, or not properly executed.
It is time that the Najib government review what has gone wrong with BN policies through the years. Despite being an oil-rich country, why are there still so many street people in Kuala Lumpur?
First, Tengku Adnan should not have raised the assessment rates in Kuala Lumpur, considering that it will cause the rent to go up. Secondly, the subsidies cut has caused the price of food items to escalate.
Thirdly, we have to be prepared to see more people become homeless, when the Goods and Services Tax is introduced next year.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), despite strong protest by the people, will cause the price of medicine, among others, to rise even further. Street people cannot even afford their food, what more when they get sick!
I challenge Tengku Adnan during this Ramadan month to donate his one month’s salary to help feed the homeless in the city.