Don't Give Money to Children You See in Shops & Streets

  • 27 Mar 2019

It's a hot Sunday afternoon, and you are out with your family for a typical banana leaf lunch in Bangsar. There comes a boy, frail and hungry, asking for money. Of course, as a model citizen and in the presence of your family, you hand out the first RM5 or RM10 note you find in your wallet.

Does this scenario sound familiar?

Well, if you've been doing this, then you may want to listen to Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Hannah Yeoh's advice.

Yeoh is urging Malaysians to stop giving money to children found begging, seeking donations or selling anything at restaurants or roads, saying they are actually victims of begging syndicates that have been pulling this scam for years.

"Children cannot be involved in begging activities. NGOs also can't use children to seek donations unless they have special permission or permit. We don't want children to be exploited," she explained.

According to Section 32 of the Child Act 2001, anyone—parents, guardians or a third party—who allows a child to beg, seek donations or money through performances in the streets or public places will be fined or even put behind bars.

While some might be inclined to help the children out of pity, Hannah Yeoh reminds everyone that the real ones benefitting from the money are the syndicate members.

"If we keep feeling pity and donate money to the children, the syndicates will keep exploiting the children," she says.

So, what do you do when you stumble upon a child begging or selling something to you? Call Talian Kasih at 15999. That way, you can truly help the child leave a life of poverty and receive basic needs like food, shelter, and education.

For those who still want to donate, it's important to verify the legitimacy of NGOs by visiting the Social Welfare Department's website here: Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat

Source: Astro Awani
Photo Credit: Dawn, The Hindu, The Coverage & KiniTV

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