ISKANDAR PUTERI, Nov 23 — The Johor Bahru City Council (MBJB) has been urged to set up a transit centre for the homeless, like those available in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, to address the issue of homelessness in the city.
State Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Zaiton Ismail said, the State Social Welfare Department (JKM) and Darul Ta’zim Family Development Foundation (YPKDT) could not afford to build such a centre as they have no special allocation for that purpose.
“I have discussed this with JKM and YPKDT and we have met several times, but it is not possible for them as there are other matters to consider namely in terms of staff, preparation, food supply, and so forth.
“So, I hope MBJB will consider this as they may have a site to build this centre. Besides, in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, the transit centres are under the supervision of Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and Penang Island City Council (MBPP) respectively,” she told reporters, today.
Zaiton said the state welfare department had been tracking and monitoring the lives and circumstances of the homeless people, most of whom are found in this city.
She said the state government together with JKM had also rounded up 248 homeless people during the Movement Control Order (MCO) and placed temporarily at the Gunung Pulai Wawasan Negara Camp in Kulai.
“We identified the profiles of these people and those with mental or drug problems were handed over to the related agencies while those with families were sent home,” adding that some came were from Sabah and Sarawak.
At the same time, she called on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to liaise with the Malaysian Red Crescent Society or the National Welfare Foundation (YKN) if they wish to provide food supply for the homeless, to ensure that the goods are channeled to the rightful recipients.