The police will monitor street begging in several “hotspot” areas, said the Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Razarudin Husain.
According to Bernama, he said that both state and district-level police had been directed to monitor the situation, especially in the city areas such as Kuala Lumpur, 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 issue of beggars among the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) cardholders.
He also said the police will take legal action against these beggars under the Road Transport Act 1987 and the Minor Offences Act 1955.
“The laws in Malaysia are not applicable to Malaysian citizens only but anyone who commits a criminal or minor offence will be prosecuted.” he said.
He added that the police will look into all possibilities while cracking down on such activities.
“We will look into all possible angles, including ascertaining whether syndicates are behind the begging activities,” he was quoted saying by NST.
This comes after a viral video showing 2 Rohingya children seemingly intimidating road users while requesting donations at a traffic light junction in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.
Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department chief SAC Saiful Annuar Yusoff said the police were investigating the video showing child beggars, where it is believed to have taken place in the Federal capital.
He said there are several legal provisions, among them, action can be taken under Section 32 of the Child Act 2001 against any individual for allowing a child under their care to go begging and if found guilty, the offender can be fined not more than RM20,000 or imprisoned for a period not exceeding 5 years or both.
“Action can also be taken under Section 283 of the Penal Code which is to abandon or expose 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.
Saiful Annuar also urged the public to channel any information related to crime to the Kuala Lumpur Police Hotline at 03-2146 0584/585 or any nearby police station.