PETALING JAYA – If you’ve noticed that there have been more beggars roaming on the streets, don’t worry. You’re not the only one. Twitter user @acaiijawe recently claimed in a lengthy thread that most ‘traffic light beggars’ are mostly ‘planted’ there by syndicates.
“There are more of them now. They normally come from a syndicate and often dress like a pilgrim and claim to be a Muslim.
However, if you ask them to recite and read Al-Fatihah, they can’t.”
Faisal further claimed that these beggars would often tremble at the thought of being brought to a zakat centre and posted a few examples in the thread.
“This teenage is the same everywhere. If you ask him about his IC, living address, and his father’s name, he will start talking gibberish to dodge the question,” he wrote.
Such information is often required by the authorities to check whether one is eligible to receive zakat aid.
Faisal also noted that these ‘traffic light beggars’ would become exceedingly afraid whenever the Department of Social Welfare (JKM), police, or zakat is mentioned.
“All the State Islamic Religious Departments have provisions to mete out fines and imprisonment for anyone who collects donations without the permission of the Religious Council, where it’s supposed to go to the Baitulmal instead.
“Many have been arrested before. Getting RM300 a day is normal.”
Thus, Faisal suggested that the best way to help these beggars is to not give them any money at all.
This is because they have a boss. When they get lots of money, their bosses will become incredibly wealthy and the industry will expand. They might be involved in human trafficking too.”
He also challenged sceptical netizens to strike a conversation with these beggars, especially those who had a child with them.
“If you’re lucky enough, one to two men will confront you and ask why you’re bothering them. Try it. You’ll definitely be chased away.”
Same case, different faces
Faisal’s thread seemed to have struck a chord in the hearts of netizens, who were keen to share their own experiences.
One claimed that some ‘traffic light beggars’ would only knock on the windows of expensive vehicles to ask for money and even lean against the door.
“Even when the lights turn green, they couldn’t be bothered by it.”
Another said that he had never donated to these beggars as he knew of their shady background.
I think it’s better to donate to a mosque because the funds will be put to good use.”
Another wrote: “There are lots of them at Jalan Tun Razak, with some being young kids. More would turn up on Fridays as there’s a market in front of a Tabung Haji office.”
Netizens also urged the authorities to crack down on such syndicates in order to protect public order.
Cover Images via Twitter/ @acaiijawe
Author: J.W Chan
Proofreader: Sarah Yeoh