| Siti Hajar |
THE latest in social issues has been brought to the forefront, with the general public now being more aware of individuals seen begging for money – particularly within the country’s commercial areas.
In an interview on the sidelines of the social issue seminar held at the Centrepoint Hotel in Gadong, Acting Director of Social Services Hj Husaini bin Abdullah pointed out that though such sightings are not on the increase, the community is now coming forward to report such cases.
“We’ve had members of the public calling us and bringing our attention to these individuals,” he shared, including both children and adults.
Though the prevalence of this issue is still low and “not serious,” authorities aim to ensure the numbers do not climb. Part of the solution, he pointed, is for the community to refrain from yielding to the requests for handouts and instead donate to welfare funds.
“It’s quite common for the people to present these individuals with money, which is part of our generous nature. But what they should do instead is to call the 114 JAPEM hotline to ensure these individuals get the help they need through programmes we have in place, specifically catering to those who require assistance.”
The incidences of children asking for handouts has also become an issue, but more often than not their parents are not aware of these activities outside the home, he said, before calling for the adults in these children’s lives to be more vigilant.
He also expressed hopes for the public to work together in overcoming these forms of social issues, especially with consideration that “things like these do not happen within our society.”