Concern for the homeless

I AM writing this letter to share my concern for the homeless who have been spotted around our capital, Bandar Seri Begawan.

Naturally, the connection between homelessness and mental health issues cannot be denied but whether these people have unaddressed mental health or substance abuse problems, the biggest worry is their safety and wellbeing as well as the safety of others.

This needs to be addressed.

We don’t want to have a cycle of homelessness that can cause a rise in crime and violence, as it will affect the peace of the capital and Brunei’s tourism reputation.

Some homeless people, possibly Bruneians can be seen hiding and living in the second-tier of the Yayasan Complex basement parking, particularly near the staircases.

These people treat the basement area as their home by making makeshift shelters and get hostile when shoppers come near them.

This letter is not meant to blame the relevant authorities but to raise awareness before anything unwanted happens.

The absence of action such as treatment puts lives in danger – sometimes it’s the life of the individual themselves; sometimes it’s the life of others.

– Bandar Ku Ceria