Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Abolishing the Paupers and Beggars...
What a blow for the host country of the World Cup to suffer 7 goals to 1. It just shows that anything can happen in football for there can be many a slip between the feet and the ball. I hope Brazil had not been frolicking too much the night before the game. The worst defeat can come in the best of time.
Oh no, Brazil is out
And the worst thing can also happen in the most auspicious time of the year in any country. Malaysia as in other Muslim countries, for example, is respecting the month of Ramadhan when prayers, good deeds and helping the unfortunate people in society are given top priority. Giving food and alms to the paupers, the beggars and the impoverished, is considered as a way of cleansing the soul and washing away your sins.
But, the media is agog with the anger of common Muslim citizens over government efforts to rid the country of paupers, beggars and the the homeless who are roaming the streets to take advantage of the month's drive for kindness and compassion for the unfortunate. At any food bazar where Muslims are busy selling and buying food for breaking their fast and the crowd is overwhelming, the beggars and alms-seekers also proliferate. You will not only see the beggars and physically impaired souls holding out their tin-cans or begging bowls to the crowd passing by, but you can also see well-dressed volunteers holding out colourful collection boxes to collect contributions to certain foundations of funds.
where else to go for help?
Many kind hearted Muslims are crying out against the authorities' efforts to round up these beggars and impoverished charity seekers and put them in welfare homes. Even free food kitchens where these unfortunate members of society can get some chow for their empty stomachs, are being viewed as encouraging pauperism and must, therefore, be abolished. The effort is seen as a necessary cruelty to clean up the streets from the bad image and nuisance caused by these unfortunate lots.
free food is encouraging begging?
This sounds more like trying to abolish poverty by decree. Taken to the extreme even alms givers and good samaritans may be fined or taken to task for "encouraging" pauperism and street begging. Can we ever overcome poverty by abolishing the street beggars and alms-seekers - not including those collecting donation for certain foundations of funds of course? Where do you want to place all the beggars and 'miserabs' if government is not even building enough welfare homes or home for the poor and disabled to accommodate and care for them, let alone establish a "social security system" that guarantees some monetary allowance for the poor, unemployed and handicapped. In Malaysia most of the 'old folks homes' are run by voluntary organisations.
Brazil, the host country for world Cup 2014, is now out of the competition.That doesn't mean that the Samba Festival should end. Even if Malaysia is proclaimed by its leaders as doing very well economically, should it try to abolish poverty with a cruel hand, and especially in the month of Ramadhan, the month of charity and compassion?