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Friday, July 4, 2014

Qaseh = Love?

Next week, Ops Qaseh, a large scale operation to rid the four hotspots in Kuala Lumpur of the homeless will start, and the street people we met on June 2 night were well aware of that fact.
Attendance at soup kitchens held throughout the city has dropped, as the needy people worry by coming over to get food, they would get targeted and detained by authorActions such as these were common, said a female member of a soup kitchen team we met.
"Of course, they would not make arrests near where we are giving out food.
"But once these people are out of our sights, the authorities would swoop in and get their prey," she told HIT.
The soup kitchen we attended, kicked off promptly at 915pm and was held at an undisclosed location to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Many of those in need were there about half an hour earlier, and almost everyone knew each other.
The adults chatted while they ate, and the children played happily with each other, a scene reminiscent of "open houses" usually held by the cabinet members to celebrate festivities, but minus the pompous officials who demand their hands be kissed and the cronies wanting to curry favour.
This scene however, would likely not see a repeat next week.
Food for pregnant wife
Some distance away from the main food distribution point we saw a man taking care of a baby, and that piqued our interest.
The man was most obliging to talk to HIT.

He said he was there at the food kitchen with his pregnant wife, and the baby he was taking care was not his, but his friend's.
"Alhamdullillah, my friend has allowed us to share a room with his family in Chow Kit.
"If not for him, I would be sleeping with my wife on the footpath we are currently standing on now," he said.
My friend took pity on me, after seeing both of us sleeping here for several months, and invited us in, he added.
"But most likely not for long, as his landlord is demanding we get out of the rented room," the 38-year old man said.

He said he had also previously rented a room in the are, before losing his job as a mechanic and getting his family thrown out.
It was only in these last few days that he got hired as a security guard, but as payday is still a long way off, at the end of July, he is at a loss on what to do.
Should we get kicked out again, he said, you'll be able to find me here, as the RM15 a day, the rate for a room in Chow Kit, for me is totally out of the question.

"Times are really tough lately as we always have to be on the lookout for the authorities," he told HIT.
If the authorities came and I was not able to get food for my family for the day, then I would be in trouble, he continued.
It was as recently as a few days ago this happened, and my wife who is three months pregnant, was desperately hungry.
I had to do something that I despised most, that is beg for money, but as a husband, I cannot think straight if my wife is crying due to hunger.
By God's will, I collected RM2 and bought some food, and managed to stop her tears, at least for a