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KL’s Soup Nazi clears streets for shoppers, tourists

Fri 2014-Jul-4 @ +08 14:50:45 pm
Ku Nan keeping the streets for shoppers and tourists

Ku Nan keeping the night streets clear for shoppers and tourists

From Monday, no one must feed the homeless within a 2km-radius of Lot 10, the shopping centre at the junction of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Bukit Bintang, in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle – a new policy announced on Wednesday by Tengku Adnan Mansor, minister for the federal territories, and secretary-general of Umno.

Lot 10 and its neighbours such as the big Pavilion, KL Plaza, Sg Wang Plaza, BB Plaza and Low Yat Plaza shopping centres, are all owned by the politically well connected. Also within the 2km radius are other fancy places such as Berjaya Times Square and KLCC at the Petronas Twin Towers. Then there are hotels such as the Marriot, Park Royal and the Federal, lots of makan places at Lorong Imbi and Little Arabia, not to mention Kota Raya and Petaling Street further on.

No soup kitchens allowed within 2km radius of Lot 10

No soup kitchens allowed within 2km radius of Lot 10

It doesn’t take a lot of brains to figure out that it’s not so much the problem of homeless and poor people as much as that the rich, the tourists and the shoppers — and the businessmen who thrive on them — don’t wish to be reminded there’s another side to life.

On Wednesday, Tengku Adnan had said: “The image of my city is very bad. If I don’t do this sort of thing, society won’t be disciplined. “We found them work. They’re so lazy. After two days go and work, they run away. Then when we find out, they say it’s easy to find food in other places. That’s the problem.” Malay Mail Online

He had alleged that soup kitchens were dirty, drawing rodents that spread diseases like Leptospirosis, and dengue. “Begging is one thing. We got HIV problem, AIDS problem, because of drug addicts. All sorts of things.”

After two days of furore, he denied today that he had dismissed the charitable works of those who have been helping the poor and homeless. “It was not my intention to do so. I hope the people understand the problems that we are facing. My intention is to make the city clean. For that, I am ready to listen and make the necessary amendments to what is needed.”

On Wednesday, he had said that fines and other penalties would be imposed on alms givers and beggars, which he said was necessary to reduce the begging culture that tarnished the city’s image.

It’s all about image, then.

Look good, not necessarily do good.

» First soup kitchen to comply

Update: govt one-stop centres for homeless

Using the old tactic of bad cop good cop the federal government announced today it would be setting up one-stop centres which will shelter, serve as an integrated registration centre for the homeless and provide other facilities such as healthcare, according to a statement.

But this is just a bare announcement, that they plan to do something.

They haven’t actually done anything yet. There’s nothing concrete in hand. They’re only trying to find locations. Only then they’ll build the shelters. More minor works contracts for the party faithful?

But on Monday, soup kitchens must stop tending to street people in the shopping and tourist district. One has already annunced it would comply.

So it’s another case of trying to look good.

And not actually trying to do good.

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