Malaysia: Poor evicted from KL's centre

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) said it was disgusted at the mentality of the Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, who decided to forcefully evict soup kitchens in Kuala Lumpar that have been feeding the poor and homeless for years.

The minister insisted that soup kitchens in Kuala Lumpur had just days to relocate out of the city centre if they did not want to be fined by City Hall. He was also quoted as saying:“The image of my city is very bad. If I don’t do this sort of thing, society won’t be disciplined.”

PSM said the growing number of homeless and beggars only reflects the failure of the government to address urban poverty effectively.

Figures showed extreme poverty has been cut from 6.9% in 1984 to 0.2% in 2012. But in reality, more households are unable to purchase their own homes due to rocketing house prices and the rising of cost of living caused by rising prices for food and essential services.

The minister's decision is not addressing urban poverty, it said, but merely white washing the city to look “good” for tourists.

The PSM condemned the minister's insensitiveness towards the urban poor and homeless, and urged the government to stop all actions to evict the homeless and feeding centres.

From GLW issue 1016