Nowhere to go, making the number of vagrants increase each year in Malaysia. Witnessing the rakyat struggling due to the consequences (poverty, low income and etc) which made them lose their homes is becoming devastating. Where do they sleep? What do they eat? Why is it hard to find the solutions to these problems? Are the government policies enough? What do we, as Malaysians, have to do more?
Remember this, “homeless but not hopeless.” Based on the facts, the roots of homelessness are due to poverty, unemployment, low income, and domestic violences. In fact, 90% of the vagrants in our country are Malaysians, not foreigners. Some of them have jobs, but cannot afford to have sustainable income to own a place. Also, some of the vagrants are jobless which leads to no money to afford buying basic necessities for them, such as food. Additionally, some of them suffer from mental illness, addictions, and depressions. Looking at the problems that they are facing, even beyond charity, they need our understanding and moral support.
Though the government has an act, The Destitute Persons Act 1977 to resolve the homelessness issues in Malaysia, the question is now, is this enough to support all of them? As per the context of this act, the person who is homeless will be sent to the welfare institutions provided by the government like Anjung Singgah. Where the Anjung Singgah provides temporary shelter for the homeless. However, based on some real stories, only a minority of them get the support, and the remaining are just released with no money, no place to live, and no transportation to travel. This comes to our mind, the vagrants are disadvantaged living in our society where they are disallowed to voice out their struggles and additionally, the government policies are not supporting and protecting them enough.
Thus, many NGOs and Individuals have come together and given a lot of contributions to help in solving these issues. This includes by providing basic necessities, likes foods, clothes, mattress and many more.
Introducing our new initiatives at PUTRA, we will be launching our FweeFüd project aiming to provide humanitarian basic necessities aid for those in needs, including homeless. This project will start this month where it will be fundraised using social media to give quality low cost food for the homeless around Kuala Lumpur. Given the restrict order due to #Covid19 pandemic, many of them are surviving to get sufficient amounts of food to live. We are here to help, empower and support you donors to contribute your kindness by providing funds to support PUTRA in helping the homeless to get food.
Overall, we at PUTRA hope that the society come together in helping the homeless instead of judging and blaming them for their situations. We need to address the root of these problems as above. Let’s empower our society together and last but not least, aim to end poverty and achieve zero hunger for all.
Nur Dinie Binti Mohd Fadil
Partner, People and Change
PUTRA Centre For Social Studies