DAP man: Proper mechanism needed to address homeless individual issues

Tan (center) speaking to a homeless man (in blue shirt) wondering around 101 Hawker Centre, who is believed to be suffering from an unspecified mental illness.

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KUCHING, Sept 23: Democratic Action Party (DAP) member Julian Tan is urging the Sarawak Welfare Department to come up with a proper mechanism to help the homeless.

Tan, in a statement today, said the government should take prompt action, including coming up with a longterm solution to help the homeless obtain proper accommodations and professional help and eventually assimilate them into society.

“The matter needs the State government’s serious commitment and planning. What is the current blueprint in addressing those who struggle with severe and persistent mental illness, or physical or intellectual disabilities, which require housing coupled with supportive services?” he queried.


Tan pointed out that Sarawak Minister of Welfare, Women, and Community Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah has always urged the public to notify the Welfare Department regarding any homeless issues.

According to Tan, in reality, even with an official report, the Welfare Department tends to have many reasons and excuses to “avoid responsibility”.

“Everyone knows, whenever the public faces an issue like this, there will be a tug-of-war between the police, Health Ministry (Kota Sentosa Hospital), and the Welfare Department.

“In the end, the homeless individual will be taken away, only to be released back again, and in no time, the person will be seen again in the same place. The cycle continues,” he added. — DayakDaily