By: Zaki Salleh
IPOH – In just 10 minutes, RM1 and RM5 banknotes filled the blue cup held by a beggar woman wearing a dark-coloured veil, a grey blouse, and brown pants at the Medan Gopeng Farmer’s Market.
The woman always smiles, seemingly trying to gain sympathy from passersby.
She appears to have physical disabilities as her right leg seems impaired.
Based on her facial features, she seems to be a foreigner, but her true identity is unknown.
The presence of the woman was ignored not only by the traders but also by the enforcement officers from the Ipoh City Council who were on duty with a mobile van.
A visitor, Riduan Hassan, stated that beggars should not be allowed in such a commercial area.
He mentioned that such beggars create a negative impression and may lead to the perception that the underprivileged in the city are not being helped.
“If this beggar is a local citizen, appropriate assistance should be given by the relevant agencies, and she should not be left to beg,” he said.
Another visitor, Ahmad Said Amin, also expressed his opinion that if the woman is a foreigner who resorts to begging as a means of living, she should not be allowed to do so.
“The presence of beggars, believed to be of various foreign nationalities, is increasingly noticeable in Ipoh.
“Therefore, the authorities should take action to ensure that foreign nationals do not come to beg.
“Meanwhile, the local community should not easily sympathize with foreign beggars but instead extend help or charity to those who are genuinely in need,” he said.