KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — Corporate companies and individuals who wish to contribute aid to the homeless in conjunction with the month of Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri are recommended to coordinate their efforts with the departments involved, such as the National Welfare Foundation (YKN).
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said this is to ensure the contributions can be distributed systematically and directly to the affected groups.
He said this is also to avoid wastage because it is normal to have excess contributions compared to the amount needed by these groups.
“During this Ramadan month, too many (groups) are seeking blessings. So, there is excessive food when breaking fast, having sahur (pre-dawn meal before beginning fast) or moreh (supper).
“So, I wish to suggest to companies or individuals who want to donate to coordinate their contributions with YKN, Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) and Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (JAWI) because we want the contributions to reach the target groups,” Ahmad Zahid said.
The Rural and Regional Development Minister was speaking at the Singgah Moreh with the Homeless Community programme at Anjung Kembara in the Homeless Transit Centre, yesterday night.
Meanwhile, he said that all parties must find long-term measures to solve several problems involving the homeless, including those who have lost their jobs, face mental health issues and suffers from long illnesses.
This is important to ensure that the number of homeless people, which now stands at about 11,000 nationwide, does not increase.
“Our approach is not to work in silos but with other ministries and departments to solve the problem.
“At the same time, family institutions should not wash their hands (off the problem) because if we just rely on the government, then this problem can never be solved,” Ahmad Zahid said.
The government is also working on giving tax exemptions to private companies, individuals and corporate bodies for their concern in assisting the homeless through their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.