Police will monitor street begging activities in several hotspot areas, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Razarudin Husain said today.
He said both state and district-level police have been directed to monitor the situation especially in city areas where beggars are usually spotted at busy traffic light junctions.
“Those begging are adults and teenagers. So there is no denying that there is an issue,” he said when asked about the matter of beggars among United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) cardholders.
He said the police will take legal action against beggars under the Road Transport Act 1987 and the Minor Offences Act 1955.
“The laws in Malaysia are not only applicable to Malaysian citizens only. Anyone who commits a criminal or minor offence will be prosecuted,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department chief Saiful Annuar Yusoff said the police are investigating a video showing child beggars, believed to be Rohingya children, acting aggressively when begging for money from the public.
He said the incident was believed to have taken place in the federal capital.
He said there are several legal provisions including those allowing action to be taken under Section 32 of the Child Act 2001 against individuals for allowing a child under their care to go begging. If found guilty, the offender can be fined a maximum of RM20,000, imprisoned for a period not exceeding five years, or both.
“Action can also be taken under Section 283 of the Penal Code on abandoning or exposing a person under one’s custody to danger, which provides for a fine of up to RM400.
“In addition, there is also Section 27 (c) of the Minor Offences Act 1955 whereby anyone found begging in a public place when he or she is capable of earning a living can be fined up to RM100 or be imprisoned,” he said in a statement today.
Saiful also urged the public to channel any information related to crime to the Kuala Lumpur police hotline at 03-2146 0584/585 or at any nearby police station.