SOLYMONE BLOG

THE PLIGHT OF HOMELESS IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

The tough life in the city has forced many to live on the streets of Kuala Lumpur. While the elderly find it hard to secure work to feed themselves, those who do have jobs but paltry wages find it difficult to keep a roof over their heads, and hence, depend on the kind-hearted groups who have been feeding them regularly. 
“I have nowhere to go. I earn my living by collecting discarded cans. Sometimes I get RM6, sometimes RM10. It is not enough to even rent a room, let alone get me meals three times a day,” said one elderly man, giving his name only as Chan. 
Chan speaks fluent English. He worked as a van driver transporting tourists in the city for seven years but ended up on the streets last year after he lost his job due to illness. 
He said prior to being a van driver, he was a corporate figure and lived a comfortable life with his wife and two kids. Things spiralled out of control because of his gambling habit. He lost his job, his houses and his family. 
With other Kuala Lumpur's homeless citizens, Chan usually has his breakfast of fried meehoon or sometimes sweet porridge distributed by a Chinese temple in the city. His dinner depends on which area he will be because there will be groups waiting at certain locations to give out hot meals in the evening. 
On the government’s move to remove them from the streets and put them in homes and national rehabilitation centres so that they can be taught skills.
Chan said the intention is noble. However, the government should not chase people like him away, especially those who worked, or want to work, to make ends meet, he said.

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