The Poorest Among the Poor in Kuala Lumpur

October 22,2014

The Poorest Among the Poor in Kuala Lumpur

The Poorest Among the PoorWhat is their Future?

I got this from a friend who is living abroad. I can now understand why he chose to make a living overseas. I thank him for taking the trouble to send this SABM article (below) and for reminding me that we have plenty to do to eradicate poverty.

This thread is an eye open opener for all us regardless of colour, race and religion. We have the poorest among the poor in our midst right here in Kuala Lumpur. The pictures you see tell a sad story. Our country which hopes to be a developed nation in 2020 cannot deal with the plight of our poor citizens. See how they live. Sorry to spoil the Divali party.–Din Merican


27 thoughts on “The Poorest Among the Poor in Kuala Lumpur

  1. Like in any country, Malaysia too has many poor people.,The country ill still have such people even if Malaysia achieves developed country status by 2020. Look at England alone. It has been a developed country a long time ago but it is not difficult to find such poor people around the country there.The Government should make a greater effort to help these poor and unfortunate people. Lim Chung Tat
    CT Lim, we are not talking about relative poverty. This is abject poverty. These people need help to get out of the poverty trap. The fact that there are poor people in UK or the developed countries does not interest me as I know that their governments take care of their poor. Our leaders here cannot relate to the poor and the poorest among them. We do not have a proper support system for them.

  2. Dato, what a way to mark the Hindu festival of light. Thousands celebrated the day at the PWTC with PM Najib while these folks could be salvaging from the garbage dumps. I bet they are not alone. Now perhaps we really get to know the main reason the UMNO minister wanted to ‘move’ soup kitchens out of KL proper. Such sights are an insult to these people who are responsible for these poor souls’ existence. Yes ‘insult’ is a very convenient word being thrown at anyone that authorities dislike.
    I’m not surprise we have these people all around the country especially when the BN could issue instant citizenship to imported Muslims! These Tamils face such discrimination is never a surprise to me. I have said before in your blog that many natives in Sabah who’ve refused to embrace Islam are strangers in their own land because they could not produce documents to prove their birth in their HOMELAND. Happy Deepavali fellow Malaysians.


    Hope the effort of the SABM and friends to produce the Social Inclusion Act as a Private Member’s Bill for the Parliament will be successful so that all our poor Malaysians in the rural areas especially in the isolated kampongs & long-houses will be better looked after.

  4. This article has been widely circulated much earlier. Surprised that you didn’t see it. Yes it’s sad especially about the couldn’t care less attitude of the government officers and departments involved.
    Yes, I missed it. You are back. –Din Merican

  5. And to think that that fat overfed minister wanted to put a stop to soup kitchens so that the sentivities of the likes of him that patronise the high-end shopping malls will not be offended.

    I think the dogs that many petted over the weekend have more sense and sympathy than him.

    And i bet that the govt ministers and their wives and parasites will say it is just takdir that they dine on lamb every night and these folk have to scavenge for every meal if you can call it that.

    This country has enough resources that properly channelled and not wasted to ensure that every child gets four square meals a day and the education that they deserve. Yet we still have such heartbreaking stories 6 years away from the magical 2020 when Malaysia becomes a veritable Eden.

    The govt and policy makers have failed miserably to stem corruption, which is a major cause of benefits not trickling down to the deserving. And for that they should be ashamed for stealing from the mouths of the weak and marginalised.

  6. 1. This is the underclass of Malaysia. A shame to all right-thinking Malaysians.

    2. In countries like Brazil, the Bolsa Familia conditional cash transfer system requires recipients to do certain things in return for receiving cash assistance e.g. get their kids vaccinated or keep their kids in school.
    Under the 1PM’s system, it is handing out cash without any conditions !
    In other words, simply a cynical scheme to fool the less educated (in the sense that they receive only crumbs while UMNO Baru-BN cronies receive massive subsidies) and to buy their political support.

  7. A progressive social democratic govt would do the following immediately:

    1. GIve proper citizenship papers to underclass people
    2. Conditional cash transfers i.e. kids must be sent to school when their parents get cash assistance from the govt
    3. Strict implementation of minimum wage laws on the part of the govt
    4. End the import of foreign workers (who put downward pressure on Malaysian wages) as soon as possible

    What the heck is the MIC doing for our stateless Indian fellow Malaysians (as depicted in the article)?

  8. @orang malaya October 22, 2014 at 9:31 pm,

    Din, I also received this much earlier from a friend now in Timor Leste quite sometime ago.

  9. My wife and I ride our motorbikes on weekends around Kedah outskirts around the district of Pedu and Baling etc and we enjoy the nice smooth country roads and of course the occasional bowl of cendol by the roadside with a packet of tapai to boost….

    Once we asked the ketua kampong to prepare a list of students below 12 who require school uniforms and school shoes plus their annual school fees and we would raise the fund from some friends at the Penang Chinese Swimming Club and the Penang Sports Club and come back with the correct uniforms and shoe sizes….

    We were shocked to find out that 90% of every village we went to, parents could not afford new uniforms or shoes for their school-going children!

    We managed to find the funds and supplied the requests and we are happy to say we have been doing this since 1999. The sad thing about this is that for the past 15 years, the government has done nothing to assist these hardcore poor families – mostly from the Malay community, Thai-Muslims and some orang aslis…

    All I can say is this, one trip less on the private jet Airbus A319EJ by the government leader (which has been reported to be around RM400,000) can fund our entire program… that’s the ridiculous part of it..
    What the present MB doing? Not much or almost nothing. I am told by my friends in Alor Setar that he is not popular with UMNO Kedah because he does not spend time in the state and is snail slow in decision making. Obviously, the Malay elite is feudal and incompetent. In his case, he has to depend on his father to do the thinking for him.–Din Mericsn

  10. Every country, there are people who simply just get marginalized by development. I remember back first arriving in the US and shocked to find there were many adults who were illiterate in the US – then learning problems like dyslexia not well understood and ignored. The human creature is complex, varied and the things we don’t understand is still a lot – there likely are still things that causes such extreme marginalisation we don’t understand, why their pattern of behaviour seems self-destructive, helpless. It does not mean the system designed is wrong, its just imperfect, demand humility.

    Discussions about such things are actually debated among some very bright people in govt in developed countries but the smartest thing I have ever heard about it came from Lee Hsien Loong – if we can’t get jobs for the adults, lets make sure we get jobs for their children – and he was refering to education..

  11. Never forget that the poor also vote. In many countries the parties voted in by the poor were not allowed to assume power by the institutions of the state at the behest of the ruling class.

    There is no need to set out examples here because even within ASEAN there is this problem. Before that happens it is the duty of those leaders in power to lift those who are poor. I still wonder why the basic principle of the FLDA schemes was changed to allow for the land on which the settlers worked to be in the ownership of a cooperative or the FELDA itself.

    We must wake up before 50% of the citizens of this country are classified as the poor.

  12. One final comment:

    “I dream today with you, Dr Martin Luther King”

    I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the multi-ethnic Malaysian dream of a Rainbow Nation.
    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of the creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all people are created equal.’

    I have a dream that one day on the hills stretching from Perlis all the way to Sabah, the sons and daughters of later immigrants, the sons and daughters of earlier immigrants, and the sons and daughters of indigenes will be able to sit down together at the table of Malaysian brotherhood and sisterhood.

    I have a dream that one day in all the states of Malaysia, states sweltering with the heat of injustice because of institutional racial discrimination and neglect of the poor and downtrodden, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

    I have a dream that all our children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, their religious faith, or their ethnicity, but by the content of their character.

    I have a dream today.

    I have a dream that one day, up in Penang, with its vicious far-right racists, one day right there in Penang and also throughout Malaysia, little Malay boys and Malay girls will be able to join hands with little Chinese and Indian boys and girls, and with little East Malaysian boys and girls, as sisters and brothers.

    I have a dream today.

  13. Thanks Dino for showing us that such abject poverty still exist in our very backyard. it is really very heartbreaking considering the high jet-setting living which our government leaders are going through.

    We were in Manila celebrating our CNY. Just to show the children how very fortunate they are, we instructed the driver to take us through the slum area in Manila. We were shocked to see the living conditions there. And I am really ashamed to see that our own citizens are going through the same squalid conditions.

  14. @ chungtatlim, : ‘ The Government should make a greater effort to help these poor and unfortunate people….’ – those governing are without conscience, damn them.
    Is there no some kind of indirect tax mechanism built into general taxation, such that a percentage is reserved for upliftment of poverty? Or may be its there, but this method is subject to the ‘ big buayas ‘ , who appease their conscience by ‘pretending’ that Government indulge in the general development of the nation ?
    It should be a specific Tax heading like for example ‘ 1or 2 % ‘ tax-collection , and then handed out to the needy, like the BRIM. Alternatively, since BRIM hand-outs involve 7 million of the population, may I suggest that the BRIM recipients make a nation-wide pledge of a few per cent , and times 7 million recipients, are then handed out to specific targets of the hard-core poor ?
    Like Phua Kai Lit who is driven by his ‘ dream ‘, I too feel a kind of enhanced emotion, when I think of Oliver Goldsmith :

    ” Whilst the law grinds the poor, the rich rules the law….”
    ( think of all the abuses by the Vultures )

    I am pretty sure that the rich becomes richer and richer at the expense of the vast majority of the poor ?

  15. One addition by Oliver Goldsmith :

    ” Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen who survey

    The rich man’s joys increase , the poor’s decay…..”

    ” And while he sinks , without one arm to save,
    The country blooms – a garden , and a grave…..

    Thus fares the land , by luxury by betray’d …… “

  16. Our society is judged by how we treat the poor, disadvantage and handicap.

    Our ‘ leaders ‘ are greedy, immoral and corrupt……social justice is least of their concern, the country is really sick.

  17. The situation in this country is expected to get worse, with rampant corruption not taken care of, voice of the extremes on the rise. Inflationary pressure, mounting taxes, salary can not catch up as the productivity is not improving ( poor education system), and we are 20 years behind Korea. With all the problems and system failure that this country is confronting, we can all expect mounting social problems, pushing many to the extremes as well. All that the government care about is to launch more mega-projects to enrich themselves with all their propaganda.

  18. And we have some who comment that, “people have worms in their head”… when it’s those with worms in their hearts. Let’s de-worm those people first.

    “touch the dog”. — our tak apa and racist society can use more empathy at the moment, and if it comes from this route then applause is due. And forgive me a crass comparison to the abject poor… one wonders if those loudmouths dare “touch the underbelly” of society.

  19. Actually, in this case, when we spew criticisms against the Authorities & Government for not paying due attention to the plight of the poor like this 6-year old Zahka, who can’t even speak Bahasa Malaysia, his adopted mother, Firiza and other members of their family, we in fact are saying that both the BN Federal Government and the PR State Government at fault as the slum’s location could well probably be in Selangor – its precise location is not determined. What are the MP and ADUN of that area doing about it? Are those people, Zahka & Firiza and family, Malaysian citizens or illegal immigrants? Whoever they are, it looks like the Welfare people have been slack in performing their duties.

  20. Eradicating Poverty?
    Martin Luther King says this: “The arc of history is long, but it bends to Justice”
    That is the Sermon of the Mount.

    Why live from dream to dream, until one day – you dream no more?
    For all you bleeding hearts and calloused brains who speak but cannot do personally – a song that has nothing to do with poverty but Love’s Essence:

  21. Mother Teresa said this:
    “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for, is the greatest poverty. We must start from our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”

    I leave it to you to decipher the true meaning. It’s not how ‘lucky’ who or what you are – it’s what you make yourself to be..

  22. /// Abnizar October 23, 2014 at 1:00 pm
    Is there no some kind of indirect tax mechanism built into general taxation, such that a percentage is reserved for upliftment of poverty? ///

    I thought the very concept of the NEP, NVP, etc. was for the uplifting of the poor.

  23. @ The – thank you for the reminder, which I had overlooked on those NEP things…..of course, it has been a good leverage to enable the poor to broach into the economic sector –

    I was unconsciously prescient too, may be intuitively, when quoting Oliver Goldsmith, to the effect that in the general taxation mode, it is the ” Vultures ” and predators who get the largest ‘ bite ‘ through the in-built Crony system in place !

    If and when an alternative Government is in place even after GE14, there should be a SPECIFIC taxation meant for those poor and marginalised , something like 2 or 3 per cent added on to the general , meant ONLY for disbursement to those marginalised for whatever the program may be – just so as to be secure from the VULTURES & Predators……. ( ie : a specific head of tax- item for which the Treasury will be held accountable to ) ?

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