I’m not sure if it’s just my own experience but in the past few months, I have noticed an increasing number of people begging for money from strangers in shops and malls, and even residential areas.
A few months ago, a man in his 40s knocked on my door and asked if I could spare him BND10. I was shocked because it had never happened to me before. How could a stranger think it was okay to ask a random person for money?
Then last month, it happened again. I was at a mall in Gadong when a woman came up to me and said she desperately needed money to buy food. Then yesterday, while I visited my local convenience store, a man asked if I could give him BND1 to buy instant noodles.
I am completely at a loss as to why it’s been happening so often lately. Sure, in the past few years, I’ve been seeing a lot more children going into restaurants to sell snacks to customers. But never had I been asked upfront for cash until this year.
It makes me wonder if inflation have something to do with it – that it has plunged a number of people into abject poverty. It is also possible that these people are scammers who refuse to take on honest work; instead, try to cash in on the public’s generosity and kindness.