1,000 vagrants to get temporary home at NS camps

A homeless man in Kuala Lumpur being provided food from Kechara Soup Kitchen in December. Homeless people are to be moved to three National Service camps during the MCO period.

KUALA LUMPUR: Some 1,000 homeless people in the capital are to be placed at three National Service training programme camps for the duration of the movement control order.

Kuala Lumpur mayor Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan said the camps are in Kuala Kubu Bharu, Semenyih and Sepang.

“They will be screened and placed at the respective camps based on their health status and citizenship,” he said.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) was currently making necessary preparations before carrying out the plan, to be assisted by the Royal Malaysia Police, National Anti-Drugs Agency and other related agencies.

In George Town, Penang, the state government has placed vagrants at the Caring Society Complex to ensure their safety.

State executive councillor Phee Boon Poh said 72 of them, who regularly sleep around the Komtar area, were transferred yesterday.

Each vagrant rescued will undergo Covid-19 health screening to ensure no one has been infected, he said. Food will be supplied by volunteer organisations.

Checks by Bernama around the Komtar area found that homeless people have taken precautionary measures by keeping a distance from each other. Some said that they often receive food from individuals or NGOs.

However, they found it difficult to buy face masks due to a lack of money.

A homeless man, who only wanted to be known as Teoh, in his 50s, said he became homeless before the national shutdown began on March 18. As there was no place to take shelter, he stayed on Komtar’s sidewalk with other vagrants at night.

“I lost my job as a dishwasher in a restaurant as it is closed now and we are dependent on NGOs for meals. If we are transferred to a hall, I agree because I fear I would be infected with Covid-19,” he said.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced an allocation of RM25 million to provide food assistance, healthcare and shelter, through collaboration with NGOs and social entrepreneurs.