Thursday, March 6, 2014

big heart small wallet..big wallet small heart...

Too many a time while having some food at a restaurant or an eatery, a blind beggar walks in assisted by a well-dressed woman or man with perfect eyesight, holding out his hand for some alms. Even the beggar is quite well dressed and on one occasion he was wearing an expensive-looking windbreaker. I gave him a fiver and he went around from table to table collecting red and blue notes from no less than twenty customers at the eatery. He must have collected close to a hundred bucks or even more.begging even with a kid in the street

Next he was doing the same in a nearby restaurant. I got suspicious and after finishing my dinner I followed him at a distance to a car park. I saw him stopped at a shiny compact car, drew out a cigarette from a golden box, stuck it to his lips with a flourish, then lit it up with a golden lighter which gave out a rich 'tinkle' when closed, denoting one of a high quality. After a few puff he got into the driver's seat, the lady assistance taking the seat by his his side and they drove the shop

That's the modern beggar. My wife said that he would go round again visiting the same restaurants and eateries after a few hours to get more money from people with a big heart. I am told that there are also syndicates using smaller boys and girls to go around begging and being later paid a certain percentage of the money collected. Some of them also hanged around gas stations armed with some papers to show that they were collecting funds for building a mosque, a school for the poor, a welfare home etc.a child beggar pulled away by the authority

People with a big heart would give to the beggars and fund collectors without raising any question. I noted that they were the people with small or rather old cars, even with just a motor cycle for transport, and not by their dress not too well off. They gave out just a small sum, often with a smile, a look of pity or concerned, and never asked for a receipt or any token from the fund collectors. They really are big hearted for they certainly know that begging and soliciting money without a proper letter of authorisation is against the law. I have never seen any of them threatening a beggar that he or she could be reported to the police or the welfare department and be arrested.

But I've seen some well dressed and authoritative characters driving around in big expensive cars, not only turning away some beggars or the fund collectors but threatening to call the police to arrest them. In view of the fact that the beggars hounding the restaurants and eateries or fund collectors, looking more like beggars, seeking contributions at the same places or at the gas stations, can really create a bad image for the nation, I tend to agree that such activities should be discouraged. But my heart always sympathise with them, even when I suspect that they are deceiving the public. Giving away a few ringgit certainly would not make me any poorer. But scolding them or threatening them in the public as done by some of the people with big or fat wallets, simply doesn't appeal to my sense of righteousness.


kaykuala said...

Akhi Norzah,
Conscience pricks more than a sharp razor in the morning. One feels for them. But it is a sore feeling when one knows one's been had. As an alternative, I thought it best to formalize it with what one is expected to do and wants to do. It doesn't matter if they are to hoodwink us!
I used to go to the TTDI wet market and 'akad' with the few blind ones waiting along the ascending staircase. They are to accept whatever they can feel in their hands as zakat. When they accept with 'saya terima' I'm happy. Especially so when done in Ramathan.


norzah said...

If we give as zakat and accepted as such with the right 'lafaz' as prescribed by the Sunnah. a part of the Muslims' obligations (to give) and right (to accept) would be fulfilled. Aki Kaykuala. But the receiver of the a;ms often just walked away without saying anything. Only the assistant would utter a 'thank you', some time.